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the process of improving the material conditions of people through diffusion of knowledge and technology.

MDC (more developed country)

also known as a relatively developed country or a developed country, a country that has progressed relatively far along a continuum of development.

LDC (lesser developed country)

also known as a developing country, a country that is at a relatively early stage in the process of economic development.

HDI (human development index)

indicator of level of development for each country, constructed by united nations, combining income, literacy, education, and life expectancy.

GDP (gross domestic product)

the value of the total output of goods and services produced in a country, normally during a year.

primary sector

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.

secondary sector

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

tertiary sector

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.


the value of a particular product compared to the amount of labor needed to make it.

value added

the gross value of the product minus the costs of raw materials and energy.

literacy rate

the percentage of a country's people who can read and write.

GDI (gender-related development index)

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

GEM (gender empowerment measure)

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

structural adjustment programs

economic policies that create conditions encouraging international trade, such as raising taxes, reducing government spending, controlling inflation, selling publicly owned utilities to private corporations, and charging citizens for services.

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