Developing versus Developed Economies The label ‘less developed country’ is often heard from various quarters, in politics, economics, as well as socio-cultural applications. This label is based on a variety of factors or indicators, some of these shall be used in this paper in order to designate why certain countries are developed, and why others are less developed. This paper shall consider five indicators (income per capita/per person (gross domestic product), life expectancy, literacy, measures of poverty, and disease indicators) which are often used to distinguish developed countries from less-developed nations.
1. Income per capita/per person (Gross domestic product). This refers to the total value of goods and services produced by the country, divided by the total population (Sundrum, 23). For developed countries, their GDP is very high, and for developing countries, it is usually very low. With a low GDP, citizens from developing countries often make far less money than their counterparts in developed countries. In fact, some citizens make so little, that they live on less than a dollar per day (Sundrum, 12).
Income/per capita is one of the most important indicators in distinguishing these two types of countries because of the purchasing power which is gained by each country. With higher income per day, a higher purchasing power is seen, but for a lower purchasing power, a reduced purchasing power is apparent (Sundrum, 2). 2. Life expectancy In Africa, where the nations are less-developed, countries like Ghana have an average life expectancy of 56 years (Goff, 3). This is in sharp contrast to the UK which at some point had a life expectancy rate of 75 years (Goff, 3).
Life expectancy is lower in less developed countries because they do not have adequate access to health care services and they are often subjected to health risks including: malnutrition, hard labor, and child labor (Rosenberg, 27). As a result, individuals are at risk of getting sick, not getting adequate medical attention, and having a short life expectancy (Rosenberg, 28). 3. Literacy rates Low literacy rates are apparent in less developed countries because of inadequate allocations by the government for education (Summer Institute of Linguistics International).
With poverty and other elements being a larger concern for the people and the government, there are limited schools, classrooms, books, and other school paraphernalia for individuals seeking to access public education (SIL International). As a result, many citizens do not get to read and to write. 4. Measures of poverty Absolute poverty is used as a measure of poverty and in this case, the general understanding on absolute poverty as an index for being a developed or a less developed country is founded on the notion that one has only the basic needs to survive (Sundrum, 4).
This usually includes food, clothing, and shelter. Absolute poverty rates are high in less developed countries (Sundrum, 6). 5. Disease indicators Diseases are usually highly endemic in developing countries because of their high population rates, poor health and sanitary conditions, and contaminated water supplies. In 2003 in Zambia, HIV rates registered at 19%, but in the UK, the rate was 0.11% (Goff, 8). There were about 482 TB cases in Zambia in 2003, but there were only 10 such cases in the UK (Goff, 9).
In the same year, there were 37,000 cases of Malaria in Zambia, there were none in the UK (Goff, 9). Traditional Chinese Economy Before 1911 At about 10,000 BCE, agriculture was strongly practiced in China. The Bronze cultures emerged by the third millennium BCE and under the rule of Shang and later Zhou, a strong labor force was established to support the large-scale workshops producing silk (Benn, 56). The surpluses from farm yields helped support the handicraft industries, the urban areas, as well as the armies.
This system however would crumble when the Western Zhou Dynasty collapsed. This wiped out the feudal system which was in place in China (Ebrey, 13). The powers of legislation were soon handed down from the noble lords to the more local rulers. Merchant classes emerged and caused an increase in trade activities. New kings and rulers built a complicated bureaucracy to manage the wars, build temples, and carry out public works (Benn, 34).
This system supported talent, not birthright and the crucial positions in government were no longer automatically given to nobility. New iron tools were also invented and used to help the agricultural activities, ensuring their ability support larger populations. The state of Qin in 221 BCE eventually united China (Benn, 22). The Great Wall of China was also built in order to ward off attackers. Uniform and standard policies were also implemented. In the Han dynasty, China gained much power and remained united and centralized in its leadership (Ebrey, 17).
It was also more or less self-sufficient through the work of its farmers and handicraft makers. The Song Dynasty implemented various economic reforms, including paper money and other technologies. These helped facilitate greater trading capabilities (Ebrey, 21). The state control of the economy was also reduced as private enterprises were allowed. The population of the country increased even more under the Ming and Qing Dynasty, with its GDP more or less staying the same (Benn, 57). Their economic development slowed as its rivals in the West gained economic momentum.
Works Cited Benn, Charles. China's Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. Ebrey, Patricia. Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993. Print. Goff, Peter. “Indicators of Economic Development. ” Development Economics Web Guide. 2003. Web. 11 September 2012. Rosenberg, Matt. “Life Expectancy: Overview of Life Expectancy. ” About. com. 2007. Web. 11 September 2012. Summer Institute of Linguistics. “Facts about Literacy. ” September 2001. Web. 11 September 2012. Sundrum, R.M. Income Distribution in Less Developed Countries.
New York: Routledge, 1992. Print.