Question: Define Economic Growth and Development and Explain the Characteristics of Each Giving Examples in Kenya's Case.

956 Words Jun 17th, 2012 4 Pages
Economic growth is defined as a positive change in the level of production of goods and services by a country over a certain period of time. It is usually measured using GDP and labour earnings.
Economic development is defined as sustainable increase in living standards. It entails increased per capita income, better education and health as well as environmental protection.
Characteristics of economic growth
1. Education:
A country with an educated populace generally records higher levels of GDP growth due to fact that educated people are more productive and can innovate on existing technology.
Kenya currently has a free primary education program with this goal in mind. This strategy may proof to be less effective than expected
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Unfortunately the rule as written on paper doesn’t always translate to truth on the ground. Cases of historical injustice and dominance of the rich over the poor has grown to be the norm. With the liberalization of the market this situation may improve in the near future.

3. Geographic distance
Hall and Jones (1999) found that geography (measured as distance from the equator) was among the most significant variables behind differences in per capita output across the nations

Kenyans have settled mostly in urban areas spurring economic growth there and rejecting the rural areas. This has had the cumulative effect of inequitable distribution of wealth with people living in more wealthy suburbs having a higher quality life than those in slums and rural areas.

4. Skilled labour Earnings of skilled and unskilled labour have a very wide disparity in terms of compensation and working conditions.
Kenya according to UNICEF statistics has a literacy level of 72%. This is among one of the highest in Africa. The effect of this hunger for knowledge is manifested in the emergence of many tertiary institutions and even more positively the spread of Kenyan professionals to the larger East Africa.
5. Institutional quality
The institutions of government, religion and society are fundamental to robust economic growth.
In the constitution Kenya is explicitly defined as a secular state, however in the

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