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Human Development Report 1996

image of Human Development Report 1996
The Human Development Report seventh edition updates the unique Human Development Indicators comparing human development in most countries of the world, and the data tables on all aspects of human development. The special focus of this edition is on the important link between economic growth and human development. The Report maintains that the link is not automatic but can be established through proper policy management, arguing the case for initiating and accelerating economic growth and at the same time accelerating and sustaining human development in different parts of the world. The Report also maintains that the quality of growth is as important as its quantity; otherwise, growth can be jobless, voiceless, ruthless, rootless, and futureless. It identifies employment as an important instrument in translating the benefits of economic growth into people's lives.

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Translating growth into employment opportunities

Economic growth has the potential to enhance human capabilities and enlarge people's choices. But for this potential to be realized, there must be a steady expansion in opportunities, to enable people to make improved choices. And for people to have greater freedom to choose among different ways of living, the opportunities need to be more equitably distributed-between men and women, between rural and urban areas, between ethnic minorities and dominant groups, and among all members of society. At the same time, without growth, striving for an equitable distribution of opportunities could well result in a zero-sum game—better opportunities for some but a loss of opportunities for others. This is akin to redistribution of poverty. The goal is to equalize opportunities while expanding them.

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