DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
COURSE: BCD 111: INTRODUCTION TO DEVELOPMENT CONCEPTS
TASK: Discuss the Rostowian Stages of Economic Development and Critic the theory.
ADM NO: BACD/NRB/2631/13
LECTURER: GERALD KWERI
DATE: 10TH JUNE 2012
Rostow’s theory of economic growth is one of the most influential theories in the 20th century. It was established in the 1960’s during the cold war. His theory illustrates assisting not only the lower income earning countries but also focuses on communist states like Russia. His theory describes the patterns of growth and development.
According to Michael P.Todaro and Stephen C.Smith (Tenth Edition) Rostow argues that it is possible to identify stages of development and classify society according to the stages mentioned below: *
Traditional Society: This stage is characterized by a subsistent, agricultural based economy, with intensive labor and low levels of trading, inclusive of a population that does not have a scientific perspective on the world and technology. This simply means that the population here is characterized by a number of people or society that lives in rural areas and engage themselves in agricultural activities as their means of livelihood. In Most cases a majority of their natural resources is allocated to non-productive activities. *
Preconditions to Take-off: This is the second stage of growth and usually embraces societies that are seen to be in the process of transition. However, it should be noted that it takes a lot of time to transform a traditional society in order for it to adapt into the modern society. A country here tries to invest in new technology like for instance purchase of machinery to use in industries hence creating employment for the people in the society and infrastructure merges this because there will be the use of various modes of transport to carry goods from one area to another. The infrastructure also comes as an advantage because the society benefits from the growth of hospitals and schools thus bring about growth in productivity in the regions. *
Take-off: Rostow describes this stage as a short period of intensive growth, in which industrialization begins to occur, and workers and institutions become concentrated around a new industry. New modes of communication are also introduced here this will aid the country in the expansion of markets hence easy facilitation in terms of exports *
Drive to Maturity: Rostow argues that for a country to term it as mature then development stage takes place over a long period of time, hence as standards of living rise, use of technology increases, and the national economy grows and diversifies. This is due to the application of modern technology to the bulk of its resources. Hence the new sectors replace the old .Rostow gives an example of steel industries as a symbol of maturity in a country. He mentions Germany and France as two main examples that entered the stages of maturity together. *
Age of High Mass Consumption: During the time of discovery of this method, Rostow believed that Western countries, most notably the United States, occupied this last "developed" stage. He assumed that they had all what they needed to term themselves as developed. He states that here; a country's economy flourishes in a capitalist system, characterized by mass production and consumerism. This is mainly because the economy shifts from the production of heavy machinery and industries like energy to production of consumable goods like cars and fridges. World Bank Report 2013: Learning big lessons on growth from three small countries states that: Singapore, Finland and Ireland are small, resource-poor countries with high growth rates. This was achieved by producing graduates with the skills to support key industries and who are able to take advantage of globalization. The Report states that the above three countries created successful learning and...
References: Frank, Andre June 1989, The Development of Underdevelopment, Monthly Review, VOL 41, No 2
Michael .P.Todaro and Stephen C Smith (year of publication) Economic Development; Pearson Addison Wesley, 2009(X) Edition pg. 110-111
World Bank Report (2013). Retrieved from http://www.go.worldbank.org/F3jcmDILSO on 19th June 2013
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