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Difference Between Economic Growth and Economic Development Essay

Economic Growth is a narrower concept than economic development.It is an increase in a country’s real level of national output which can be caused by an increase in the quality of resources (by education etc.), increase in the quantity of resources & improvements in technology or in another way an increase in the value of goods and services produced by every sector of the economy. Economic Growth can be measured by an increase in a country’s GDP (gross domestic product). Economic development is a normative concept i.e. it applies in the context of people’s sense of morality (right and wrong, good and bad). The definition of economic development given by Michael Todaro is an increase in living standards, improvement in self-esteem needs and freedom from oppression as well as a greater choice.

The most accurate method of measuring development is the Human Development Index which takes into account the literacy rates & life expectancy which affect productivity and could lead to Economic Growth. It also leads to the creation of more opportunities in the sectors of education, healthcare, employment and the conservation of the environment.It implies an increase in the per capita income of every citizen. Economic Growth does not take into account the size of the informal economy.

The informal economy is also known as the black economy which is unrecorded economic activity. Development alleviates people from low standards of living into proper employment with suitable shelter. Economic Growth does not take into account the depletion of natural resources which might lead to pollution, congestion & disease. Development however is concerned with sustainability which means meeting the needs of the present without compromising future needs. These environmental effects are becoming more of a problem for Governments now that the pressure has increased on them due to Global warming. Economic growth is a necessary but not sufficient condition of economic development.


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