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Developing Areas Lecture Notes.docx

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

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The Developing World
1.1 What is the Developing World?
The world is characterized by significant economic inequality
Canada economy equal to all sub-Sahara developing nations
Tobacco/advertising spent in US enough to cover preventable child
Richest country in the world in terms of per capita income: Qatar
First World: the „western world‟
Second World: communist world
Third World: everyone else became developing countries implies
a rank ordering
Fourth, Fifth: the poorest of the poor
North: industrialized world (not just northern hemisphere)
South: industrializing world (developing world)
Developing World: a large category equal to third-world
Industrialized World:
NICs: newly industrializing countries highlight the great success
of countries undergoing development
LDCs: least developed countries highlight the least economic
HIPCs: highly indebted poor countries severely economically
undeveloped with a high burden of debt
How to Measure Development
Raw GNI, GNP or GDP/capita
o Variations in purchasing power (does not reflect differences)
o Purchasing power parity (PPP)
o Income inequality
o Proportion under $1 or $2 a day
o GDI gender development index
o Inequality-adjusted HDI

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o Developed by UN indicates the standard of living (health
conditions, educational conditions)
How the mass of the population is living
Raw GNI/capita
Least developed countries
o Ethiopia - $280
o Haiti - $660
o Yemen - $950
Lower-middle income
o China - $2,940
o Egypt - $1,800
o Thailand - $2,840
o Chile - $9,400
o South Korea - $21,530
o Often only partially-industrialized oil-rich states
Saudi Arabia - $15,500
UAE - $24,121
o Some East Asian entrepots
Singapore - $34,760
Hong Kong/China - $23,684
PPP GNP/GDP per capita
UK 44,390 > 36,130
Mexico 9,980 > 14,270
Philippines 1,890 > 3,900
Ethiopia 280 > 870
Problems with Inequality
Income disparities
o Canada
Richest 10% earn 24.1% of income
Poorest 40% earn 17.5% of income
Gini coefficient of 0.315
o Brazil
Richest 10% earn 46.2% of income
Poorest 40% earn 8.1% of income

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Gini coefficient of 0.601
*Gini Coefficient is a measure of inequality, ranging from 0 (perfect equality)
to 1 (complete inequality)
Human Development Index
HDI measures health, education, and income
o Highest (2011) Norway: 0.943
o Lowest (2011) Congo: 0.286
Some countries have much lower HDI than GNP (South
Some countries have much higher HDI ranking than GNP (some
Some countries have lower GDI than HDI (Middle-East)
Some countries unrated because of unreliable data
o High conflict-affected or highly authoritarian
Three Worlds? Two? Many?
Heterogeneity of the third world
o Geography
o Population
o Political Systems
o Economic Development
Problems of Definition
Why draw lines, or use terms and labels, at all? Why not:
o Poly 227: Introduction to the Politics of Countries starting
with the letters A to D
Developing World Common Characteristics
Lower levels of economic development
Lower levels of social development
Social/economic development is a low priority
Weaker state structures/weaker institutions ability/capacity to
Political instability
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