economic growth

The growth of national income, or the output of goods and services per head of population, with output conventionally measured by the Gross National Product (GNP). The alternative term economic development is often used in relation to Third World societies. Economic growth does not necessarily lead to growth in consumption and improved distribution of wealth and public welfare; it depends on how the increased output is used, and by whom.
Economists have devoted much effort to producing theories of economic growth which might guide policy-making in developing countries and in industrial societies. Theories place varying degrees of emphasis on capital investment, the economic infrastructure, manpower planning and education, and the relative roles of government and the private sector. See also entrepreneur ; sustainable development.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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