CHAPTER TWENTY-ONECONCEPTS of DEVELOPMENT Consider Table 21-1. Identify the 5 highest GNP’s Per Capita and the 5 lowest GNP’s Per Capita. Does the U.S. have the highest GNP Per Capita? What similar characteristics do the 5 with the highest GNP’s Per Capita have? What similar characteristics do the 5 with the lowest GNP’s Per Capita have?
DEVELOPED and DEVELOPING COUNTRIESEconomists & geographers use a variety of criteria to describe the wide disparities in theglobal economy. The concept of development is a complicated one, but there arebenchmarks to provide a profile. A major criteria is demographic data. Approx. 81% of the world’s population is in less developed countries, but about 93% of the population growth during the past four decades has occurred in these countries.
This fast population growth has forced some developing countries, such as China, to resortto drastic action, including instituting a one-child policy.
Another demographic distinction is the population’s age distribution. Older populationsare found in developed countries, while younger populations are found in developingcountries.
The age distributions for developed and developing countries create differentchallenges and/or problems for each. Identify the population problems confrontingboth developed & developing countries.
The percentage of urban versus rural residents is a strong indicator of development.Generally, the higher the urbanization rate, the more developed the country is.
Economic indicators are valuable variables in determining development. All countries areengaged in farming. In developing countries farming is more labor intensive and is amajor economic activity.
In contrast, commercial farming dominates in developed countries, which comprises only afraction of the workforce.
Regarding general economic variables, developed economies are dominated by a high-techservice sector. Any industry is highly automated, and farming is the smallest sector ofthe economy. Developing countries are dominated by either labor-intensive farming orlabor-intensive industry. The service sector is the smallest part of the economy.
When you tally all of the economic variables, developed countries enjoy an affluence thatdeveloping countries can only dream about.
In the developing world, many people continue to livein much the same ways as their ancestors, and thefuture does not promise much, if any, modernimprovements.
Even something as common as watching t.v. can be markedly different when comparingdeveloped and developing countries.
With greater affluence comes more leisure time. Residents in developing have little tono leisure time. In contrast, residents in developed countries have the energy and timeto engage in a wide variety of leisure and recreational activities.
Another gauge of affluence is consumption. Developed countries consume at a disproportionate rate,and they produce a tremendous amount of consumer waste, which is threatening resources and theenvironment.
Consumption and waste production are relatively low in developing countries – when you arepoor and have little, there is little to throw away. But as some developing countriescontinue to develop, their consumption and waste production will add to globalenvironmental problems.
The category of health variables is a valuable indicator of development. The mostcommonly applied health variable is life expectancy. Developed countries enjoy high lifeexpectancies that continue to increase. Developing countries are plagued with lower lifeexpectancies.
Geographers consider answers to the following question: what factors contribute to ahigher or lower life expectancy? The first factor is availability of health care. Developedcountries have the resources and technologies to detect and cure health problems.Developing countries do not have these resources or technologies.
Another vital factor determining life expectancy is diet. Residents of developedcountries enjoy abundance and a wide variety of food year-round. Many staple foodswould be considered rare luxuries in developing countries.
Infant mortality is yet another indicator of development. Developed countries have lowinfant mortality rates that continue to decrease. Developing countries, in many cases,have alarmingly high infant mortality rates.
A country’s ability to care for the health and welfare of its children is a factor ofdevelopment. Developed country’s have the resources to better care for its children.Developing countries lack the resources to care for the health and welfare of itschildren.
In the category of education, there are striking differences between developed anddeveloping countries. Developed countries much higher literacy rates than developingcountries.
The reasons for the wide educational disparity include a serious shortage of buildings,books, equipment, teachers and money.
In some developing countries, girls are either shut-out of educational opportunities, orthey only attend school through the primary grades. With up to half of their populationseither uneducated or under-educated, these countries may never turn the corner to fullydeveloping.
Infrastructure development demonstrates the degree of modernization. Developedcountries have the resources to develop, build, and maintain a complex infrastructurenetwork. Developing countries are decades or more behind. This affects economicdevelopment.
The degree of internal stability and tranquility is a measure of development. Developedcountries are known for stability and tranquility. Conversely, many developing countriesare characterized by internal instability and violence. This often results in refugeeproblems.
Politically,the established developed countries are working democracies. Authoritarianpolitical systems and/or unstable fragile democracies are the trademark of developingcountries.
Refer to Fig. 21-1 (pp. 286-287). Is the world dominated by high income economies? Whichtype(s) of economies dominate the world?Obviously, many statistics are used as criteria to classify countries in terms of development.Identify and explain the benefits of using these statistics and the pitfalls (problems) of usingthem.Refer once again to Fig. 21-1 (pp. 286-287). Apply the core-periphery model to the worldeconomies. Use the map to provide examples.For the periphery, identify and explain the various demographic, economic, and social ills.Describe the regional disparities found in the periphery.
Explain whether you believe it is a responsibility of the wealthier countries to provideaid to the poorer ones. Many core countries, including the U.S., send millions of dollarsto individual countries. Misuse of aid by corrupt periphery governments threaten this aid.
TOURISM: BOON or BANE?Peripheral countries throughout the world have become the destination for millions of tourists fromricher countries. On the surface, it would appear that tourism as an industry is a very positiveeconomic activity for these poorer countries. But many economic geographers argue that tourism hasbeen a formidable obstacle to economic development in the periphery. Identify and explain theirreasons.
MODELS of DEVELOPMENTIdentify and describe the 3 models of development.Explain dependence theory.