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Define Economic Development


Scholars and Development Economists have defined Economic Development in different ways, but the definitions are of similar constructs and Principles. Mostly, degree of economic development which is at a micro and macro dimension brings the definitions near to each other. In this paper, I will explicate in simpleness the definition and apprehension of Economic Development by Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith in their Co-edition book, “ Economic Development ” Tenth edition.

Amartya Sen ‘s apprehension of Economic Development will be besides explained, and subsequently I will see to it if Michael and P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith apprehension and definition of economic Development is agreeable with me.

Last, I will compare and contrast the positions on Economic Development by Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith with/to that of Amartya Sen, and so I will give a sum-up of the positions.

1. Definitions Of Economic Development.

1.1. As understood by Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith.

Harmonizing to Todaro and Smith, they view and define Economic Development in two facets, that is a traditional one and a modern one ( New Economic position of development ) . They look at the traditional one from the wider position ; they view it at a national degree -macro degree. This sort of Economic Development views the economic system at state ‘s gross income and merchandises ; it deals with rates of growing of income per capital. This sort of Economic Development works merely with the position of merely measuring the existent goods and services available to the mean citizen for ingestion and investings ( Todaro and Smith, 2009:14 ) .

On new Economic position of Development, Todaro and Smith views the economic system at a lower position, they view it at microeconomic degree. In this position of economic development harmonizing to Todaro and Smith, Economic Development can be defined as procedure of a end taking to a life of self-respect for people in relationship to the overall context of their community and the environment that sustains them as a agency of poorness relief. The two bookmans hence, view economic development as a agency of elating or bettering the degrees of life criterions of the multitudes of people. Harmonizing to Todaro and Smith in support of their position, they said that “ in short, during 1970 ‘s economic development came to be redefined in footings of the decrease or riddance of poorness, inequality and unemployment within the context of a turning economic system ” ( 2009:15 ) .

By and large, the overall position of economic development by Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith is that they conceive it as a “ multidimensional procedure affecting major alterations in societal constructions, popular attitudes, and national establishments, every bit good as the acceleration of economic growing, the decrease of inequality, and the obliteration of poorness ” ( 2009:16 ) . This definition of theirs, trades with both macro and micro-economic development.

1.2. As understood by Amartya Sen.

Amartya Sen is an Indian economic expert and philosopher who won the Baronial Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 1998 for his part to the public assistance economic sciences ( Online ) . For one to understand Amartya Sen ‘s positions on economic development must first analyze his place on poorness as capableness want in his book “ DEVELOPMENT AS FREEDOM ” . In his construct on poorness, Sen said that poorness is a less human status. He identifies economic inequality with income inequality, and he sees the two as effectual synonymous ( 1999:108 ) . With Amartya Sen, he views economic development more on micro degree. He looks at bettering the construction of the society that can convey common good to everyone in the society. Amartya Sen as Todaro and Smith puts it, “ economic growing can non sanely be treated as an terminal in itself. Development has to be more concerned with heightening the lives we lead and the freedom we enjoy ” ( 2009:16 ) . Therefore with Sen, what matters in economic development is the freedom one is suppose to hold. In other words, one time an person is given that freedom to hold entree to basic necessities such as shelter, nutrient and other trade goods and health care every bit good. So harmonizing to Sen, economic development comes as a consequence of capabilities- which is “ the freedom that a individual has in term of the pick of operation, given his personal characteristics and his bid over trade goods ” ( Todaro and Smith, 2009:18 ) .

The complex and multidimensional ends of development are approached in a radical mode by Amartya Sen with his constructs of operations and capablenesss. His Capabilities Approach to development argues that what matters the most for people is their capableness to map. The construct of operations reflects those touchable and intangible things that a individual values making. These valued things vary from simple 1s like proper nutrition and turning away of disease to more complex 1s like holding self-respect and engagement in the community ( Sen,1999:75 ) . Capabilities on the other manus refer to the freedom that a individual has in footings of his pick of operations, given his/her personal characteristics and bid over trade goods -availability of goods and services.

2. My positions on Todaro and Smith apprehension of Economic Development.

In purely economic footings, I agree with Michael P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith apprehension of Economic Development because they both view it at lower and higher degrees. Their understanding Tells that economic development is merely a subdivision of economic sciences that trades with the survey of macroeconomic causes of long footings economic growing such as increased gross national merchandises upon accomplishing increased figure of resources. However, defined critics point out that gross national merchandise is a narrow step of economic public assistance that does non take history of of import non-economic facets such as entree to healthcare and instruction, freedom or societal justness.

And because of such defined critics, I agree with Todaro and Smith on their other aspect understanding on economic development as survey of microeconomic which is the inducement issues if persons or families and houses such as health care and instruction.

Therefore, with their apprehension of Economic Development I can reason that economic development can be seen as a complex multi-dimensional construct affecting betterments in human well-being both at low and high degree.

3. Comparisons and Contrasts between Todaro, Smith and Sen ‘s positions.

Upon sing Todaro and Smith and Amartya Sen positions on Economic Development severally, view economic development on micro and macroeconomic degrees. They look at bettering the constructions of the society that can convey common good to everyone in the society, they view economic development from the societal establishments. They both understand that if persons are good construct up in footings of their support particularly on basic necessities such as health care, nutrient and shelter, so economic development is defined and justified.

The lone differentiation is in their construct, Todaro and Smith view economic development from macro to microeconomic degree. This means that their belief of economic development begins first with is bettering the economic system on the national degree us as increasing the gross national income and merchandises. And by so making, the economic development is now extended to persons, to microeconomic degree. But for Amartya Sen, he views it from the opposite side. He views development as an sweetening of the lives of people through persons, and with Sen, economic development begins with freedom and capablenesss. Once an person is given that freedom to hold entree to basic necessities such as shelter, nutrient and other trade goods and health care every bit good, so the end product by individual will better the economic system at macro degree.


In drumhead, I can reason that despite bookmans and economic expert different positions on economic development, they in rule and construct mean the same thing. They merely view the frailty on different angles. Harmonizing to their apprehension, Economic Development can be defined as a phenomenon which occurs over a long period of clip with a complex multi-dimensional construct to better human public assistance and that of the state in a free ambiance and environment.