Economic Development Essay

1184 words - 5 pages

THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES

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ACADEMIC YEAR: 2014/2015 SEMESTER: 1

COURSE CODE: ECON3051 TITLE: Economic Development 1

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According to Gerald Meier, economic development is defined as ‘the process whereby the real per capita income of a country increases over a period of time-subject to the stipulations that the number of people below an ‘absolute poverty line’ does not increase and that the distribution of income does not become more unequal’.Myint (2014),further defines economic development as ‘the process whereby simple, low income national economies are transformed into modern industrial economies’. Education is a key factor of economic development; constant sustainable economic development cannot be achieved by a country if sizable investment in human capital does not take place. Education works as a driving force in the development process of a country and brings much-needed intellectual capital and technological changes, which make the economy more competitive and innovative by developing human capital with better skill and expertise. In Jamaica, formal and non-formal education are vital for economic development as these provides the country with the potential to enhance productivity, reduce poverty and achieve greater income equality.
Education, which produces human capital, is a crucial determinant of productivity. Educational provisions in Jamaica are basically the main factors that contribute largely to the level of the country’s productivity. Both formal and non-formal education serve as a determinant of the structure and improvement of Jamaica’s output and exports. As postulated by Lucas (1998) ‘the higher the level of education of the workforce the higher the overall productivity of capital because the more educated are more likely to innovate and thus affect everyone’s productivity’.Correspondingly, the worth of the country’s investment decisions and policy making is definitely influenced by the level of formal and non-formal education of policy and decision makers. As the education level of individuals in the country increases, the total productivity will be enhanced and this will ultimately impact positively on economic development.
In order for a country to achieve economic development, Gerald Meier believes that the number of people below the ‘absolute poverty line’ should not increase. Formal and non-formal education not only help individuals to escape poverty by developing the skills they need to improve their standard of living but also generate productivity gains that fosterthe country’s economic growth. Through education, poverty is reduced by providing the deprived resources and opportunities for upward social mobility. Education in its formal or non-formal context can elevate Jamaica from one economic bracket to the next because it not only assist households out of poverty but also help in safeguarding against them falling back into poverty. Thus, formal and non-formal education are very important to the economic...

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