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Bridging the development gap

Measuring Development

Although there is a clear North-South divide wealthy North/ poor South, there is not a perfect correlation
between wealth and HDI.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The total value of the goods and services produced in a country in a year, divided by the population
per capita
+ Good indicator of economic growth and provision of services
+ useful for comparing and ranking countries
- Doesnt take into account cost of living
- Doesnt include subsistence and informal economies
- Ignores social development

Gross National Income (GNI)
The GDP of a country plus income from overseas investment
+ Takes into account overseas investment which often accounts for a significant proportion of income
for MEDCs
- Same negatives as GDP

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)
The income per capita taking into account the consideration of the cost of living
+ takes into consideration cost of living
- Cost of living varies widely and therefore similar incomes may lead to very different standards of
- Ignores different needs of population (e.g. amount of land needed for rural and urban workers)
- Still doesnt take into account regional variations or the social & environmental costs of

Not direct correlation between economic and social development as it depends on how committed the
government is to converting the benefits of economic growth into improved education and health care
Human Development Index (HDI)
A measure of quality of life including:
Life expectancy
Education - literacy rates - average length of schooling
GDP (using PPP)
Measures quality of life which does not always correlate with economic growth
Gender Development Index (GDI)
Measures the inequalities between men and women in terms of Human Development Index (HDI)
+ Recognises that quality of life may be different for men and women (+)
Gender equality is not necessarily related to development, e.g. role of religion in wealthy gulf states
Factors affecting different levels of development
- physical resources water, soil, minerals, climate
- social population dependency, education levels, infrastructure internet access
- economic stage of industrialisation, trade links, IGO membership, TNCs
- political level of debt, corruption, commitment of gov, colonialism legacy

Causes of the Gap
Development shows an unequal world, sometimes called the 80:20 world the rich world enjoys 80% of the worlds
wealth but contains only 20% of the worlds people.


Rostows theory
A country will pass through a series of stages of development, from underdevelopment to development
1) Traditional society - sustenance farming and primary industries
2) Preconditions for take-off - Investment, political stability
3) Take-off - secondary industries
4) Drive to maturity - tertiary / quaternary industries
5) High mass consumption service industries
e.g. UK dveleoped through industrial revolution, by developing natural reserves of coal and iron to fuel industires,
set up coal fields an towns grew arounbd them
Not all countires follow Rostows Model :
- not all have natural resources
- not all have stable governments
- some suffer from natural disaster
- there is competition from all developing countries in trade
- poor countries with high population growth
Doesnt take into account non-economic factors e.g. high population growth and political change

Spread effects decrease the gap Backwash effects increase the gap form periphery

The Poverty Cycle
Less developed countries trapped in continuing cycle of poverty
- Lack of money > decline in industries > decline in infrastructure > decreased HDI > decreased labour,
etc. Negative multiplier effect
- Continually increasing development gap
Evaluation : Cannot explain development of BRIC nations

Core-Periphery Models (Wallerstein, 1974)
Core and periphery can be within a country e.g. London core - Wales + Scotland periphery. Or between countries
e.g. and between areas e.g. North south

Investment, industries, business and jobs attract people to the core, these build economic growth which leads to
multiplier effect so more wealth is generated.
Developed ---> developing:
- Investment by TNCs
- Tourism
- Technology
- Foreign aid
Developing ---> developed
- Labour
- Raw materials
Doesnt account for countries in the semi-periphery --- NICs (world systems theory)
Resources and knowledge from developed countries causes development in less developed

Globalisation widens gap:
- Areas that are unconnected have less interaction with the global core areas, so are in decline
- global investment beomes concentrated on core
- Backwash effects mean core remains uncconencted

Depenedency Theorty
Developing world is dependent on developed world through:
Tariffs / subsidies
WTO policies (result of dominance of superpowers in WTO)
Commodity traders
Doesnt account for movement developing countries becoming developed (BRIC nations)
Based on capitalism may not apply to other political movements, e.g. communist China