Economic development

Economic development is the process in which a nation is being improved in the sector of the economic, political, and social well-being of its people. The term has been used frequently by economists, politicians, and others in the 20th and 21st centuries. The concept, however, has been in existence in the West for centuries. "Modernization, "westernization", and especially "industrialization" are other terms often used while discussing economic development. Economic development has a direct relationship with the environment and environmental issues. Economic development is very often confused with industrial development, even in some academic sources.

Whereas economic development is a policy intervention endeavor with aims of improving the economic and social well-being of people, economic growth is a phenomenon of market productivity and rise in GDP. Consequently, as economist Amartya Sen points out, "economic growth is one aspect of the process of economic development".


The scope of economic development includes the process and policies by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.[1]

The University of Iowa's Center for International Finance and Development states that:

'Economic development' is a term that economists, politicians, and others have used frequently in the 20th century. The concept, however, has been in existence in the West for centuries. Modernization, Westernisation, and especially Industrialisation are other terms people have used while discussing economic development. Economic development has a direct relationship with the environment.

Although nobody is certain when the concept originated, some people agree that development is closely bound up with the evolution of capitalism and the demise of feudalism.[2]

Mansell and When also state that economic development has been understood since the World War II to involve economic growth, namely the increases in per capita income, and (if currently absent) the attainment of a standard of living equivalent to that of industrialized countries.[3][4] Economic development can also be considered as a static theory that documents the state of an economy at a certain time. According to Schumpeter and Backhaus (2003), the changes in this equilibrium state to document in economic theory can only be caused by intervening factors coming from the outside.[5]


Economic development originated in the post-war period of reconstruction initiated by the United States. In 1949, during his inaugural speech, President Harry Truman identified the development of undeveloped areas as a priority for the west:

“More than half the people of the world are living in conditions approaching misery. Their food is inadequate, they are victims of disease. Their economic life is primitive and stagnant. Their poverty is a handicap and a threat both to them and to more prosperous areas. For the first time in history humanity possesses the knowledge and the skill to relieve the suffering of these people ... I believe that we should make available to peace-loving peoples the benefits of our store of technical knowledge in order to help them realize their aspirations for a better life… What we envisage is a program of development based on the concepts of democratic fair dealing ... Greater production is the key to prosperity and peace. And the key to greater production is a wider and more vigorous application of modem scientific and technical knowledge."

There have been several major phases of development theory since 1945. From the 1940s to the 1960s the state played a large role in promoting industrialization in developing countries, following the idea of modernization theory. This period was followed by a brief period of basic needs development focusing on human capital development and redistribution in the 1970s. Neoliberalism emerged in the 1980s pushing an agenda of free trade and removal of import substitution industrialization policies.

In economics, the study of economic development was borne out of an extension to traditional economics that focused entirely on national product, or the aggregate output of goods and services. Economic development was concerned with the expansion of people's entitlements and their corresponding capabilities, morbidity, nourishment, literacy, education, and other socio-economic indicators.[6] Borne out of the backdrop of Keynesian economics (advocating government intervention), and neoclassical economics (stressing reduced intervention), with the rise of high-growth countries (Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong) and planned governments (Argentina, Chile, Sudan, Uganda), economic development and more generally development economics emerged amidst these mid-20th century theoretical interpretations of how economies prosper.[7] Also, economist Albert O. Hirschman, a major contributor to development economics, asserted that economic development grew to concentrate on the poor regions of the world, primarily in Africa, Asia and Latin America yet on the outpouring of fundamental ideas and models.[8]

It has also been argued, notably by Asian and European proponents of infrastructure-based development, that systematic, long-term government investments in transportation, housing, education, and healthcare are necessary to ensure sustainable economic growth in emerging countries.

Growth and development

Economic growth deals with increase in the level of output, but economic development is related to increase in output coupled with improvement in social and political welfare of people within a country. Therefore, economic development encompasses both growth and welfare values.

Dependency theorists argue that poor countries have sometimes experienced economic growth with little or no economic development initiatives; for instance, in cases where they have functioned mainly as resource-providers to wealthy industrialized countries. There is an opposing argument, however, that growth causes development because some of the increase in income gets spent on human development factors such as education and health.

According to Ranis et al., economic growth and development is a two-way relationship. According to them, the first chain consists of economic growth benefiting human development, since economic growth is likely to lead families and individuals to use their heightened incomes to increase expenditures, which in turn furthers human development. At the same time, with the increased consumption and spending, health, education, and infrastructure systems grow and contribute to economic growth.

In addition to increasing private incomes, economic growth also generates additional resources that can be used to improve social services (such as healthcare, safe drinking water, etc.). By generating additional resources for social services, unequal income distribution will be mitigated as such social services are distributed equally across each community, thereby benefiting each individual. Concisely, the relationship between human development and economic development can be explained in three ways. First, increase in average income leads to improvement in health and nutrition (known as Capability Expansion through Economic Growth). Second, it is believed that social outcomes can only be improved by reducing income poverty (known as Capability Expansion through Poverty Reduction). Lastly, social outcomes can also be improved with essential services such as education, healthcare, and clean drinking water (known as Capability Expansion through Social Services). John Joseph Puthenkalam's research aims at the process of economic growth theories that lead to economic development. After analyzing the existing capitalistic growth-development theoretical apparatus, he introduces the new model which integrates the variables of freedom, democracy and human rights into the existing models and argue that any future economic growth-development of any nation depends on this emerging model as we witness the third wave of unfolding demand for democracy in the Middle East. He develops the knowledge sector in growth theories with two new concepts of 'micro knowledge' and 'macro knowledge'. Micro knowledge is what an individual learns from school or from various existing knowledge and macro knowledge is the core philosophical thinking of a nation that all individuals inherently receive. How to combine both these knowledge would determine further growth that leads to economic development of developing nations.

Yet others believe that a number of basic building blocks need to be in place for growth and development to take place. For instance, some economists believe that a fundamental first step toward development and growth is to address property rights issues, otherwise only a small part of the economic sector will be able to participate in growth. That is, without inclusive property rights in the equation, the informal sector will remain outside the mainstream economy, excluded and without the same opportunities for study. The economic development of countries can also be implicated or contributed by the multinational corporations companies .

Economic development goals

The development of a country has been associated with different concepts but generally encompasses economic growth through higher productivity,[9] political systems that represent as accurately as possible the preferences of its citizens,[10][11] the extension of rights to all social groups and the opportunities to get them[12] and the proper functionality of institutions and organizations that are able to attend more technically and logistically complex tasks (i.e. raise taxes and deliver public services).[13][14] These processes describe the State's capabilities to manage its economy, polity, society and public administration.[15] Generally, economic development policies attempt to solve issues in these topics.

With this in mind, economic development is typically associated with improvements in a variety of areas or indicators (such as literacy rates, life expectancy, and poverty rates), that may be causes of economic development rather than consequences of specific economic development programs. For example, health and education improvements have been closely related to economic growth, but the causality with economic development may not be obvious. In any case, it is important to not expect that particular economic development programs be able to fix many problems at once as that would be establishing unsurmountable goals for them that are highly unlikely they can achieve. Any development policy should set limited goals and a gradual approach to avoid falling victim to something Prittchet, Woolcock and Andrews call ‘premature load bearing’.[15]

Many times the economic development goals of specific countries cannot be reached because they lack the State's capabilities to do so. For example, if a nation has little capacity to carry out basic functions like security and policing or core service delivery it is unlikely that a program that wants to foster a free-trade zone (special economic zones) or distribute vaccinations to vulnerable populations can accomplish their goals. This has been something overlooked by multiple international organizations, aid programs and even participating governments who attempt to carry out ‘best practices’ from other places in a carbon-copy manner with little success. This isomorphic mimicry –adopting organizational forms that have been successful elsewhere but that only hide institutional dysfunction without solving it on the home country –can contribute to getting countries stuck in ‘capability traps’ where the country does not advance in its development goals.[15] An example of this can be seen through some of the criticisms of foreign aid and its success rate at helping countries develop.

Beyond the incentive compatibility problems that can happen to foreign aid donations –that foreign aid granting countries continue to give it to countries with little results of economic growth[16] but with corrupt leaders that are aligned with the granting countries’ geopolitical interests and agenda[17] –there are problems of fiscal fragility associated to receiving an important amount of government revenues through foreign aid. Governments that can raise a significant amount of revenue from this source are less accountable to their citizens (they are more autonomous) as they have less pressure to legitimately use those resources.[18] Just as it has been documented for countries with an abundant supply of natural resources such as oil,[19] countries whose government budget consists largely of foreign aid donations and not regular taxes are less likely to have incentives to develop effective public institutions.[18] This in turn can undermine the country's efforts to develop.

Economic development policies

In its broadest sense, policies of economic development encompass two major areas:

One growing understanding in economic development is the promotion of regional clusters and a thriving metropolitan economy. In today's global landscape, location is vitally important and becomes a key in competitive advantage.

International trade and exchange rates are a key issue in economic development. Currencies are often either under-valued or over-valued, resulting in trade surpluses or deficits. Furthermore, the growth of globalization has linked economic development with trends on international trade and participation in global value chains (GVCs) and international financial markets. The last financial crisis had a huge effect on economies in developing countries. Economist Jayati Ghosh states that it is necessary to make financial markets in developing countries more resilient by providing a variety of financial institutions. This could also add to financial security for small-scale producers.[21]


Economic development has evolved into a professional industry of highly specialized practitioners. The practitioners have two key roles: one is to provide leadership in policy-making, and the other is to administer policy, programs, and projects. Economic development practitioners generally work in public offices on the state, regional, or municipal level, or in public–private partnerships organizations that may be partially funded by local, regional, state, or federal tax money. These economic development organizations function as individual entities and in some cases as departments of local governments. Their role is to seek out new economic opportunities and retain their existing business wealth.

There are numerous other organizations whose primary function is not economic development that work in partnership with economic developers. They include the news media, foundations, utilities, schools, health care providers, faith-based organizations, and colleges, universities, and other education or research institutions.

International Economic Development Council

With more than 20,000 professional economic developers employed worldwide in this highly specialized industry, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) headquartered in Washington, D.C. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping economic developers do their job more effectively and raising the profile of the profession. With over 4,500 members across the US and internationally, serving exclusively the economic development community, IEDC membership represents the entire range of the profession ranging from regional, state, local, rural, urban, and international economic development organizations, as well as chambers of commerce, technology development agencies, utility companies, educational institutions, consultants and redevelopment authorities. Many individual states also have associations comprising economic development professionals, who work closely with IEDC.

Development indicators and indices

There are various types of macroeconomic and sociocultural indicators or "metrics" used by economists and geographers to assess the relative economic advancement of a given region or nation. The World Bank's "World Development Indicators" are compiled annually from officially recognized international sources and include national, regional and global estimates.

GDP per capita – growing development population

GDP per capita is gross domestic product divided by mid year population. GDP is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidizes not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources.

Modern transportation

European development economists have argued that the existence of modern transportation networks- such as high-speed rail infrastructure constitutes a significant indicator of a country's economic advancement: this perspective is illustrated notably through the Basic Rail Transportation Infrastructure Index (known as BRTI Index)[22] and related models such as the (Modified) Rail Transportation Infrastructure Index (RTI).[23]

Community competition

One unintended consequence of economic development is the intense competition between communities, states, and nations for new economic development projects in today's globalized world. With the struggle to attract and retain business, competition is further intensified by the use of many variations of economic incentives to the potential business such as: tax incentives, investment capital, donated land, utility rate discounts, and many others. IEDC places significant attention on the various activities undertaken by economic development organizations to help them compete and sustain vibrant communities.

Additionally, the use of community profiling tools and database templates to measure community assets versus other communities is also an important aspect of economic development. Job creation, economic output, and increase in taxable basis are the most common measurement tools. When considering measurement, too much emphasis has been placed on economic developers for "not creating jobs". However, the reality is that economic developers do not typically create jobs, but facilitate the process for existing businesses and start-ups to do so. Therefore, the economic developer must make sure that there are sufficient economic development programs in place to assist the businesses achieve their goals. Those types of programs are usually policy-created and can be local, regional, statewide and national in nature.

See also


  1. ^ O'Sullivan, A. and Sheffrin, S. M. (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  2. ^ R. Conteras, "How the Concept of Development Got Started" University of Iowa Center for International Finance and Development E-Book [1]
  3. ^
  4. ^ Mansell, R & and Wehn, U. 1998. Knowledge Societies: Information Technology for Sustainable Development. New York: Oxford University Press.
  5. ^ Schumpeter, Joseph & Backhaus, Ursula, 2003. The Theory of Economic Development. In Joseph Alois Schumpeter. pp. 61–116. doi:10.1007/0-306-48082-4_3
  6. ^ See Michael Todaro and Stephen C. Smith, "Economic Development" (11th ed.)., Pearson Education and Addison-Wesley (2011).
  7. ^ Sen, A (1983). "Development: Which Way Now?". Economic Journal. 93 (372): 745–62. doi:10.2307/2232744.
  8. ^ Hirschman, A. O. (1981). The Rise and Decline of Development Economics. Essays in Trespassing: Economics to Politics to Beyond. pp. 1–24
  9. ^ Simon Kuznets (1966). Modern Economic Growth: Rate, Structure and Spread, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.
  10. ^ Kenneth Shepsle and Mark Bonchek (2010), Analyzing Politics, Second Edition, Norton, pp. 67 – 86.
  11. ^ G. Bingham Powell (2000). Elections as Instruments of Democracy: Majoritarian and Proportional Views. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.
  12. ^ C.A. Bayly (2008). “Indigenous and Colonial Origins of Comparative Economic Development: The Case of Colonial India and Africa”, Policy Research Working Paper 4474, The World Bank.
  13. ^ Deborah Bräutigam (2002), “Building Leviathan: Revenue, State Capacity and Governance”, IDS Bulletin 33, no. 3, pp. 1 - 17
  14. ^ Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (2012), Why Nations Fail, New York: Crown Business.
  15. ^ a b c Lant Pritchett, Michael Woolcock & Matt Andrews (2013). Looking Like a State: Techniques of Persistent Failure in State Capability for Implementation, The Journal of Development Studies, 49:1, 1-18, DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2012.709614
  16. ^ William Easterly (2003), “Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?” in Journal of Economic Perspectives 17(3), pp. 23 – 48.
  17. ^ Ethan Bueno de Mesquita (2016), Political Economy for Public Policy, Princenton University Press, chapter 11.
  18. ^ a b Todd Moss, Gunilla Pettersson and Nicolas van de Walle (2006), “An Aid Institutions Paradox? A review essay on aid dependency and State building in Sub-Saharan Africa”, Working Paper 74, Center for Global Development.
  19. ^ Michael Ross (2012), The Oil Curse: How petroleum wealth shapes the development of nations.
  20. ^ "What is BR&E?". Business Retention and Expansion International. 2018-10-23. Retrieved 2019-01-09.
  21. ^ Jayati Gosh (January 2013). "Too much of the same". D+C Development and Cooperation.
  22. ^ Firzli, M. Nicolas J. (September 2013). "Transportation Infrastructure and Country Attractiveness". Revue Analyse Financière. Paris. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  23. ^ M. Nicolas J. Firzli : ‘2014 LTI Rome Conference: Infrastructure-Driven Development to Conjure Away the EU Malaise?’, Revue Analyse Financière, Q1 2015 – Issue N°54

Further reading

Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED or DCED) is a department within the government of Alaska.

Development economics

Development economics is a branch of economics which deals with economic aspects of the development process in low income countries. Its focus is not only on methods of promoting economic development, economic growth and structural change but also on improving the potential for the mass of the population, for example, through health, education and workplace conditions, whether through public or private channels.Development economics involves the creation of theories and methods that aid in the determination of policies and practices and can be implemented at either the domestic or international level. This may involve restructuring market incentives or using mathematical methods such as intertemporal optimization for project analysis, or it may involve a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods.Unlike in many other fields of economics, approaches in development economics may incorporate social and political factors to devise particular plans. Also unlike many other fields of economics, there is no consensus on what students should know. Different approaches may consider the factors that contribute to economic convergence or non-convergence across households, regions, and countries.

Economic and Technological Development Zones

The National Economic and Technological Development Zones (Chinese: 国家级经济技术开发区) are the special areas of the People's Republic of China where foreign direct investment is encouraged. They are usually called the "Economic and Technological Development Zones" or simply the "Development Zones".

These national level programs started with the Special Economic Zones for three cities in 1978, as part of China's economic reform, and were extended to the Economic and Technological Development Zones in 14 cities in 1984.

There are also pros and cons on development on these economic zones, the pros are creating more job opportunities, increasing its economic growth (national GDP) and encourage on foreign direct investment. As a result, it was a success because China is currently one of the fastest growing countries and significantly influencing the global economy. From the past two decades, China has become an industrialized country because of the development of these economic zones. In which encourage foreign direct investments, where trading, exports of manufacture goods, became one of the main aspect of economic growth. On the other hand, it also made it reliant on these foreign investment, such as reliant on Hong Kong for these foreign investment, due to the reason that Hong Kong is a free trade market. Based on the case in Shenzhen, its problem with being one of the economic zones can be categorized in four category 1) Foreign exchange leakage,2) Cost ineffectiveness, 3) Failure to achieve state objectives and 4) Economic crimes and related social problems.[1]

China has been among the top targets of global investment for more than two decades. In the new age of global recession, China keeps a stable growth rate, thanks to the inexpensive labor, stable government, preferable tax rate and government's support to foreign investment.

Economic development in India

The economic development in India followed socialist-inspired politicians for most of its independent history, including state-ownership of many sectors; India's per capita income increased at only around 1% annualised rate in the three decades after its independence. Since the mid-1980s, India has slowly opened up its markets through economic liberalisation. After more fundamental reforms since 1991 and their renewal in the 2000s, India has progressed towards a free market economy.In the late 2000s, India's growth reached 7.5%, which will double the average income in a decade. IMF says that if India pushed more fundamental market reforms, it could sustain the rate and even reach the government's 2011 target of 10%. States have large responsibilities over their economies. The average annual growth rates (2007–12) for Gujarat (13.86%), Uttarakhand (13.66%), Bihar (10.15%) or Jharkhand (9.85%) were higher than for West Bengal (6.24%), Maharashtra (7.84%), Odisha (7.05%), Punjab (11.78%) or Assam (5.88%). India is the sixth-largest economy in the world and the third largest by purchasing power parity adjusted exchange rates (PPP). On per capita basis, it ranks 140th in the world or 129th by PPP.

The economic growth has been driven by the expansion of the services that have been growing consistently faster than other sectors. It is argued that the pattern of Indian development has been a specific one and that the country may be able to skip the intermediate industrialisation-led phase in the transformation of its economic structure. Serious concerns have been raised about the jobless nature of the economic growth.Favourable macroeconomic performance has been a necessary but not sufficient condition for the significant reduction of poverty amongst the Indian population. The rate of poverty decline has not been higher in the post-reform period (since 1991). The improvements in some other non-economic dimensions of social development have been even less favourable. The most pronounced example is an exceptionally high and persistent level of child malnutrition (46% in 2005–6).The progress of economic reforms in India is followed closely. The World Bank suggests that the most important priorities are public sector reform, infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, removal of labour regulations, reforms in lagging states, and HIV/AIDS. For 2018, India ranked 77th in Ease of Doing Business Index. According to Index of Economic Freedom World Ranking an annual survey on economic freedom of the nations, India ranks 123rd as compared with China and Russia which ranks 138th and 144th respectively in 2014.

At the turn of the century India's GDP was at around US$480 billion. As economic reforms picked up pace, India's GDP grew five-fold to reach US$2.2 trillion in 2015 (as per IMF estimates).

India's GDP growth during January–March period of 2015 was at 7.5% compared to China's 7%, making it the fastest growing economy. During 2014–15, India's GDP growth recovered marginally to 7.3% from 6.9% in the previous fiscal. During 2014–15, India's services sector grew by 10.1%, manufacturing sector by 7.1% & agriculture by 0.2%. Indian Economy Grows at 7.6 & 7.1 in FY 2015–16 and FY 2016–17 Respectively as Major Reforms had Been Taken Place like Demonitisation and Implementation of GST in FY 2016–17 the Economic Growth has Been Slow Down in 2017–18 as it is Expected to Grow at 6.7 and Forecasted to Rebound by 8.2% in 2018–19.

Economic growth

Economic growth is the increase in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economy over time. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product, or real GDP.Growth is usually calculated in real terms - i.e., inflation-adjusted terms – to eliminate the distorting effect of inflation on the price of goods produced. Measurement of economic growth uses national income accounting. Since economic growth is measured as the annual percent change of gross domestic product (GDP), it has all the advantages and drawbacks of that measure. The economic growth rates of nations are commonly compared using the ratio of the GDP to population or per-capita income.The "rate of economic growth" refers to the geometric annual rate of growth in GDP between the first and the last year over a period of time. This growth rate is the trend in the average level of GDP over the period, which ignores the fluctuations in the GDP around this trend.

An increase in economic growth caused by more efficient use of inputs (increased productivity of labor, physical capital, energy or materials) is referred to as intensive growth. GDP growth caused only by increases in the amount of inputs available for use (increased population, new territory) is called extensive growth.Development of new goods and services also creates economic growth.

GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development

The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development is a regional organization of four post-Soviet states: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED; legally, the Department of Industry; French: Innovation, Sciences et Développement économique Canada), is the department of the Government of Canada with a mandate of fostering a growing, competitive, and knowledge-based Canadian economy. ISED specifically supports Canadian innovation efforts, trade and investment, enterprise growth, and customized economic development in Canadian communities.

ISED has three core responsibilities. These responsibilities are to oversee Canadian companies, investment and growth; people, skills and communities; and science, technology, research and commercialization. It addresses these responsibilities by doing work in four areas. These areas are research and development; economic development; market integrity, regulation, and competition; and internal services. This work is done by distributing grants and contributions, providing programs and services, managing federal activities, and overseeing relevant regulation and legislation.In 2018-19, ISED has emphasized the importance of women's entrepreneurship, innovation, and digital economy. ISED has also prioritized inclusivity, asserting that "our economy should work for all Canadians" In order to fulfil this mandate among other responsibilities, ISED works in partnership with several organizations to address a broad and diverse range of economic variables across Canada.

These organizations focus on specific geographic regions or economic variables with the collective goal of strengthening the Canadian economy.

There are six regional development agencies under ISED's portfolio which provide tailored support suited to the strengths and needs of different areas of Canada. These agencies include: the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, and Western Economic Diversification Canada. ISED is also associated with a number of special operating agencies, shared-governance corporations, departmental corporations, crown corporations, departmental agencies and a joint enterprise.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing the federal government's economic development and corporate affairs department, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development is also the minister responsible for Statistics Canada. By convention, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development also serves as the Registrar General of Canada.

Ministry of Economic Development (Russia)

The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation (Russian: Министерство экономического развития Российской Федерации) is a federal ministry in the Russian Government. The ministry is responsible for regulating and forming policies related to socioeconomic and business development in Russia.

New York City Economic Development Corporation

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is a non-profit corporation whose stated mission is to promote economic growth in New York City, especially through real estate development. It is the City's official economic development corporation. NYCEDC merged with the New York City Economic Growth Corporation in 2012. It is based out of Lower Manhattan.

Socioeconomic development and the Bahá'í Faith

Since its inception the Bahá'í Faith has had involvement in socioeconomic development beginning by giving greater freedom to women, promulgating the promotion of female education as a priority concern, and that involvement was given practical expression by creating schools, agricultural coops, and clinics. Current development activities worldwide are related to areas such as education, health, agriculture, arts and media, the local economy and the advancement of women. By 2017 there were an estimated 40,000 small scale projects, 1,400 sustained projects, and 135 Bahá'í inspired organizations.


Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how societies progress, stagnate, or regress because of their local or regional economy, or the global economy. Societies are divided into 3 groups: social, cultural and economic.

Special economic zone

A special economic zone (SEZ) is an area in which the business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country. SEZs are located within a country's national borders, and their aims include increased trade balance, employment, increased investment, job creation and effective administration. To encourage businesses to set up in the zone, financial policies are introduced. These policies typically encompass investing, taxation, trading, quotas, customs and labour regulations. Additionally, companies may be offered tax holidays, where upon establishing themselves in a zone, they are granted a period of lower taxation.

The creation of special economic zones by the host country may be motivated by the desire to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). The benefits a company gains by being in a special economic zone may mean that it can produce and trade goods at a lower price, aimed at being globally competitive. In some countries, the zones have been criticized for being little more than labor camps, with workers denied fundamental labor rights.

State Statistics Service of Ukraine

State Statistics Committee of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Державний Комітет Статистики України, Derzhavnyi Komitet Statystyky Ukrainy) is the government agency responsible for collection and dissemination of statistics in Ukraine. For brevity it also referred to as Derzhkomstat. In 2010 the committee was transformed into the State Service of Statistics under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development is the organizing principle for meeting human development goals while simultaneously sustaining the ability of natural systems to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend. The desired result is a state of society where living conditions and resource use continue to meet human needs without undermining the integrity and stability of the natural system. Sustainable development can be classified as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations.

While the modern concept of sustainable development is derived mostly from the 1987 Brundtland Report, it is also rooted in earlier ideas about sustainable forest management and twentieth century environmental concerns. As the concept developed, it has shifted to focus more on economic development, social development and environmental protection for future generations. It has been suggested that "the term 'sustainability' should be viewed as humanity's target goal of human-ecosystem equilibrium (homeostasis), while 'sustainable development' refers to the holistic approach and temporal processes that lead us to the end point of sustainability". Modern economies are endeavouring to reconcile ambitious economic development and obligations of preserving natural resources and ecosystems, as the two are usually seen as of conflicting nature. Instead of holding climate change commitments and other sustainability measures as a drug to economic development, turning and leveraging them into market opportunities will do greater good. The economic development brought by such organized principles and practices in an economy is called Managed Sustainable Development (MSD).The concept of sustainable development has been—and still is—subject to criticism, including the question of what is to be sustained in sustainable development. It has been argued that there is no such thing as a sustainable use of a non-renewable resource, since any positive rate of exploitation will eventually lead to the exhaustion of earth's finite stock; this perspective renders the Industrial Revolution as a whole unsustainable. It has also been argued that the meaning of the concept has opportunistically been stretched from 'conservation management' to 'economic development', and that the Brundtland Report promoted nothing but a business as usual strategy for world development, with an ambiguous and insubstantial concept attached as a public relations slogan (see below).

Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter on May 18, 1933, to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected by the Great Depression. The enterprise was a result of the efforts of Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska. TVA was envisioned not only as a provider, but also as a regional economic development agency that would use federal experts and electricity to more quickly modernize the region's economy and society.

TVA's service area covers most of Tennessee, portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and small slices of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. It was the first large regional planning agency of the federal government and remains the largest. Under the leadership of David Lilienthal ("Mr. TVA"), the TVA became a model for America's efforts to help modernize agrarian societies in the developing world.

Third World

During the Cold War, the term Third World referred to the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the nations not aligned with either the First World or the Second World. This usage has become relatively rare due to the ending of the Cold War.

In the decade following the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the term Third World was used interchangeably with developing countries, but the concept has become outdated as it no longer represents the current political or economic state of the world. The three-world model arose during the Cold War to define countries aligned with NATO (the First World), the Communist Bloc (the Second World, although this term was less used), or neither (the Third World). Strictly speaking, "Third World" was a political, rather than an economic, grouping.

Since about the 2000s the term Third World has been used less and less. It is being replaced with terms such as developing countries, least developed countries or the Global South.

West Virginia Department of Transportation

The West Virginia Department of Transportation is the state agency responsible for transportation in West Virginia. The Department of Transportation serves an umbrella organization for seven subsidiary agencies which are directly responsible for different areas of the state's infrastructure.

Purchasing power parity (PPP)
Growth rate
Gross national income (GNI)
Countries by region
Subnational divisions
Cultural aspects
Social aspects

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