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agricultural labor force

The number of people who work in agriculture. This is important because a large value indicates that the country is likely an LDC dependent on agriculture, while a small value indicates that there are fewer people working in agriculture, meaning that the agriculture is more efficient.

calorie consumption

As a percentage of daily requirement is an important index of development. People in MDCs generally consume more than 130% of their daily requirements, but most people in LDCs barely get enough to sustain themselves. The problem is worst in Africa, where most people do not eat enough.

core-periphery model

A model of the spatial structure of development in which underdeveloped countries are defined by their dependence on a developed core region.

cultural convergence

the contact and interaction of one culture with another

dependency theory

a model of economic and social development that explains global inequality in terms of the historical exploitation of poor nations by rich ones

energy consumption

An indicator of development. MDCs tend to consume much more energy per capita than do LDCs. This will be important in the future because as LDCs begin to industrialize, there will be a great strain on the world's energy supply

foreign direct investment

a joint venture between a foreign company and a United States company


the properties that distinguish organisms on the basis of their reproductive roles

gender empowerment measure

Compares the ability of women and men to participate in economic and political decision making.

gender related development index

Compares the level of development of women with that of both sexes.

gross domestic product

measure of the United States economy adopted in 1991

gross national product

former measure of the United States economy

human development index

Indicator of level of development for each country, constructed by United Nations, combining income, literacy, education, and life expectancy

less developed country

poorer countries that do not manufacture as many of their goods as more developed countries.

levels of development


literacy rate

percentage of people who can read and write

measures of development

used to distinguish LDCs from MDCs. They include GDP, literacy rate, life expectancy, caloric intake, etc.


control by a powerful country of its former colonies (or other less developed countries) by economic pressures

physical quality


primary sector

the part of the economy that draws raw materials from the natural environment


the quality of being productive or having the power to produce

purchasing power parity

a measure of how many units of currency are needed in one country to buy the amount of goods and services that one unit of currency will buy in another country

relatively develo


rostow W. W.

Prominent for his role in the shaping of American policy in Southeast Asia during the 1960s, he was a staunch opponent of communism, and was noted for a belief in the efficacy of capitalism and free enterprise.

secondary sector

The portion of the economy concerned with manufacturing useful products through processing, transforming, and assembling raw materials.

stages of growth model

linear theory of development that developed countries go through a common patterns 1)Traditional Society, 2)Transitional Stage 3)Take Off 4)Drive to Maturity and 5)High Mass Consumption

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.

technology gap

The contrast between the technology available in developed core regions and that present in peripheral areas of underdevelopment.

technology trans


tertiary sector

the part of the economy that involves services rather than goods

third world

underdeveloped and developing countries of Asia and Africa and Latin America collectively

transnational corportions

a corporation that, although it may be chartered and have headquarters in one specific country, does international business through an array of global subsidiaries.

world systems theory

economic and political connections that tie the world's countries together

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