IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/pid/journl/v34y1995i4p333-372.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Human Development: Means and Ends

Author

Listed:
  • Paul P. Streeten

    (Department of Economics, Boston University, USA.)

Abstract

Sometimes the change in the fashions of thinking about development appears like a comedy of errors, a lurching from one fad to another. Economic growth, employment creation, jobs and justice, redistribution with growth, basic needs, bottom-up development, participatory development, sustainable development, market-friendly development, liberation, liberalisation, human development; thus goes the carousel of the slogans. But this would not be a correct record. There has been an evolution in our thinking about development. Both internal logic and new evidence have led to the revision of our views. Previous and partly discarded approaches have taught us much that is still valuable, and our current approach will surely be subject to criticisms. A brief survey of the evolution of our thinking may be helpful. The discussion started in the 1950s, influenced by Arthur Lewis (1955) and others, who emphasised economic growth as the key to poverty eradication. Even at this early stage, sensible economists and development planners were quite clear (in spite of what is now often said in caricature of past thought) that economic growth is not an end in itself, but a performance test of development. Arthur Lewis defined the purpose of development as widening our range of choice, exactly as the Human Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme do today. Three justifications were given for the emphasis on growth as the principal performance test. One justification assumed that through market forces–such as the rising demand for labour, rising productivity, rising wages, lower prices of the goods bought by the people–economic growth would spread its benefits widely and speedily, and that these benefits are best achieved through growth. Even in the early days some sceptics said that growth is not necessarily so benign. They maintained that in certain conditions (such as increasing returns, restrictions to entry, monopoly power, unequal distribution of income and assets), growth gives to those who already have; it tends to concentrate income and wealth in the hands of the few.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul P. Streeten, 1995. "Human Development: Means and Ends," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 333-372.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:34:y:1995:i:4:p:333-372
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.pide.org.pk/pdf/PDR/1995/Volume4/333-372.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Behrman, Jere R., 1993. "The economic rationale for investing in nutrition in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(11), pages 1749-1771, November.
    2. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
    2. Anwar Shah & Karim Khan, 2015. "Can We Solve the Issue of Poverty Without Solving the Issue of Conventional Economic Paradigm: A Critical Review," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 54(4), pages 671-683.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:34:y:1995:i:4:p:333-372. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Khurram Iqbal). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/pideipk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.