World Economic Survey 1969–1970

The Developing Countries in the 1960s: The Problem of Appraising Progress

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World Economic Survey 1969–1970 addresses the methodological problems that are involved in measuring progress in the developing countries. The Survey reviews the available data and suggests ways in which they might be used to throw light on the economic and social performance in the 1960s of the countries—both developing and economically more advanced—that will be implementing the International Development Strategy in the 1970s.



Levels of living

Subject to the constraints implicit in relations with the rest of the world, a country’s output can be used for consumption or for investment. Over a short period these uses are competitive alternatives; over a longer period, however, they are mutually dependent: levels of consumption can be sustained only if the productive fabric of the economy is maintained and renewed by adequate investment, while the viability of the economy is itself determined in large measure by the participation and productivity—and hence the health, skill and motivation—of its workers. A critical decision in development policy is thus the allocation of resources between present satisfaction and the building up of a capacity to ensure greater future satisfaction. Such a decision can be made only in the context of individual countries and in the light not merely of the current volume and trend of production but of the whole historical background and the distribution of wealth that has emerged.


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