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development economicsthe branch of economics that seeks to explain the processes by which a DEVELOPING COUNTRY increases in productive capacity, both agricultural and industrial, in order to achieve sustained ECONOMIC GROWTH.
Much work in development economics has focused on the way in which such growth can be achieved, for instance, the question of whether agriculture ought to be developed in tandem with industry, or whether leading industries should be allowed to move forward independently, so encouraging all other sectors of society. Another controversial question is whether less developed countries are utilizing the most appropriate technology. Many economists argue for intermediate technology as most appropriate rather than very modern plants initially requiring Western technologists and managers to run them. Socio-cultural factors are also influential in attempting to achieve take-off into sustained economic growth. See ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, INFANT INDUSTRY.