The study of economic development is one of the newest, most dashing and most
attracting branches of the broader disciplines of economics and political
economy. It was the world poverty, backwardness, unequal income distribution,
the rising gulf between the countries of the world, and special circumstances
prevailing in Africa, Asia and Latin America which led this branch of economics
to come forward. The development economics does not have a separate identity
Monetary economics and Labor economics.
However, it draws relevant principles
and concepts from other branches of economics and they are applied to solve the
problems which are faced by the economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America as
their economies differ from the economies of Europe, America and Australia. Thus
the development economics is not the same to that of economics of advanced
countries, (the modern neo-classical economics).
Again, it is not similar to the
economic ideas implemented in socialist or communist economies (Marxist or
Command economies). It actually is, the economics of poor world, backward and
third world countries which have a variety of differences regarding natural
resources, cultures, ideas and outlooks. Such all requires for new ideas and
approaches which could tackle the problems of poverty and backwardness. The
Nobel Prize in Economics in 1979 was awarded to two Development Economists like
W. Arthur Lewis and Theodore Shultz for their pioneering studies of development
process. As Schultz in his Nobel Lecture (1979) said:
"Most of the people in the world are
poor, so if we knew the economics of being poor we would know much of the
economics that really matters".
is a branch of economics which deals with causes and cures of mass poverty".
Thus development studies pays
attention on involuntary deprivation of fundamental material comforts of life, basic nutrition, rudimentary
shelter, minimally competent medical attention and primary education. The involuntary
deprivation that accompanies mass poverty has a self-fulfilling and
self-perpetuating character. It is hard to overcome because it consists of a
series of vicious circles, or a set of interlocking equilibrium circumstances
that reinforce one another. The poor people consume less and fail to work hard. They earn little hence cannot save much. They think that more children
they have more their income will be. Thus it is in their interest to produce
more children, but not in the interest of the society. The poverty of the poor
people is transmitted to their children. These poor persons have to live with
the people who are extra-ordinarily rich and powerful.
The rich exercise their own views mostly from the Western economics,
regarding the economy and sociology. In this way, a tension is developed amongst the poor
and the rich in the poor countries. A few rich would like to get more and more
wealth in these poor countries where the infant mortality rate is high, general
educational levels are low, cities are crowded, dirty, and unpleasant, and
public facilities are lacking and missing . Thus the poor countries fail to meet
the common visions of the good life.