A process of improvement in the material conditions of people through diffusion of knowledge and technology.
Alternative to international trade that emphasizes small businesses and worker-owned and democratically run cooperatives and requires employers to pay workers fair wages, permit union organizing and comply with minimum environmental and safety standards.
Foreign direct investment (FDI)
Investment made by a foreign company in the economy of another country.
Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM)
Compares the ability of women and men to participate in economic and political decision making.
Gender-Related Development Index (GDI)
Compares the level of development of women with that of both sexes.
Gross domestic product (GDP)
The value of the total output of goods and services produced in a country in a given time period (normally 1 year).
Human Development Index (HDI)
Indicator of level of development for each country, constructed by the United Nations, combining income, literacy, education and life expectancy.
Less developed country (LCD)
A country that is at a relatively early stage in the process of economic development.
The percentage of a county's people who can read and write.
Millennium Development Goals
Eight international development goals that all members of the United Nations have agreed to achieve by 2015.
More developed country (MDC)
A country that has progressed relatively far along a continuum of development.
The portion of the economy concerned with the direct extraction of materials from Earth's surface, generally through agriculture, although sometimes by mining, fishing and forestry.
The value of a particular product compared to the amount of labor needed to make it.
The portion of the economy concerned with manufacturing useful products through processing, transforming and assembling raw materials.
Structural adjustment program
Economic policies imposed on less developed countries by international agencies to create conditions encouraging international trade, such as raising taxes, reducing government spending, controlling inflation, selling publicly owned utilities to private corporations and charging citizens more for services.
The portion of the economy concerned with transportation, communications and utilities, sometimes extended to the provision of all goods and services to people, in exchange for payment.
A company that conducts research, operates factories and sells products in many countries, not just where its headquarters or shareholders are located.
The gross value of the product minus the costs of raw materials and energy.