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The Problems Of Defining Development Essay

1300 words - 5 pages

The Problems of Defining Development

Development is very difficult to define as it has a wide range of
meanings and has therefore been used in a variety of ways, by
different people or organizations at different times. For example,
geographers will link development with improvements in human welfare
e.g. greater wealth, better education and health. Many geographers
will measure development in terms of the countries HDI (Human
Development Index). However, on the other hand economists will link
development to developed/developing economies and will use GNP (Gross
National Product) and GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to measure it.
These are examples of two definitions of development, however it needs
to be said that technological improvement and justice are also
interrelated features which need to be considered. This essay will
detail will examine how development is defined and the relative
inaccuracies which surround it.

Good, you define terms and introduce the purpose of the essay

As mentioned above, many economists use GNP or GDP to measure
development. GNP maybe defined as the total value, or output of goods
and services which a country produces which become available during a
period of tie (usually a year) for consumption or saving plus foreign
investments. GNP is usually expressed per capita. Explain why and
possibly give some examples of different countries.

GNP does have its weakness because it does not take into account
inequalities in income, it only states the national average. It does
not take into account general costs of living, as well as regional
variations. A more realistic measure of differences would be to
consider GNP converted at purchasing power parity rates. These compare
different GNPs using exchange rates which take account of differences
in the cost of living. However, adjusting GNP at purchasing power
parity rates can significantly alter a country's ranking in world GDP
league tables. For example, using PPP, Luxembourg is the world's
wealthiest nation, however traditional GNP per head makes Switzerland
the world's wealthiest nation. It can be said that using PPP causes
inaccuracies too. Generally, PPP lifts GNP per head for most
developing countries and former communist states but lowers it for
developed countries.

Give the figures, perhaps as a table as well as using the data in with
your writing. At the end of this paragraph ( and all the others) link
back to the title to say what has been shown- sum up in relation to
the relevance to the question.

Another indicator of development economist's use is Gross Domestic
Product or GDP. GDP can be defined as the total monetary value of all
goods and services produced by a nation (in 1 year). Generally, it is
said that the lower the level of GDP the poorer the development level
of the country....

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