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commodity chain

series of links connecting the many places of production and distribution and resulting in a commodity that is then exchanged on the world market


with respect to a country, making progress in technology, production and socioeconomic welfare

gross national product (gnp)

the total value of all goods and services produced by a country's economy in a given year. it includes all goods and services produced by corporations and individuals of a country, whether or not they are located within the country

gross domestic product (gdp)

the total value of all goods and services produced within a country during a given year

gross national income (gni)

The total market value of the goods and services produced within a country and abroad in a year is called the GNI. It is the gross domestic product plus what a country's residents earn abroad and minus what is paid out abroad. This term has replaced the term GNP

per capita gni

the gni (gross national income) of a country divided by its population

formal economy

the legal economy that is taxed an monitored by a government and is included in a government's GNP (as opposed to an informal economy)

informal economy

economic activity that is neither taxed nor monitored by a government and is not included that government's GNP

modernization model

a model of economic development most closely associated with the work of economist Walter Rostow. the model maintains that all countries go thru 5 interrelated stages of development, which culminate in an economic state of self-sustained economic growth and high levels of mass consumption


the geographical situation in which something occurs; the combo of what is happening at a variety


entrenchment of the colonial order EX: trade and investment

Structuralist Theory

model of economic development that treats economic disparities among countries or regions

dependency theory

structuralist theory that offers a critique of of the modernization model of development


when a poorer country ties the value of its currency to that of a wealthier country, or when it abandons its currency and adopts the wealthier country's currency as its own

world-systems theory

Wallerstein's three-tier structure theory, social change in in the developing world inextricably linked to the economic activities to the developed world

three-tier structure

the division of the world into core, periphery and semi-periphery as a means to help explain the inter connections between places in the global economy.


when a family sends a child or an adult to a labor recruiter in hopes that the labor recruiter will send money, and the family member will earn money to send home

structural adjustment loans

Loans granted by international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to countries in the periphery and the semi periphery in exchange for certain economic and governmental reforms in that country(e.g. privatization of certain government entities and opening the country to foreign trade and investment)

vectored diseases

A disease carried from one host to another by an intermediate host.


vectored disease spread by mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite in their saliva and which kills approximately 150,000 children in the global periphery each month

export processing zones

zones established by many countries in the periphery and semi-periphery where they offer favorable tax, regulatory, and trade arrangements to attract foreign trade and investment


The term given to zones in northern Mexico with factories supplying manufactured goods to the U.S. market. The low-wage workers in the primarily foreign-owned factories assemble imported components and/or raw materials and then export finished goods.

special economic zones

specific areas within a country in which tax incentives and less stringent environmental regulations are implemented to attract foreign business and investment

north american free trade agreement

Agreement entered into by Canada, Mexico, and the United States in December 1992 and which took effect on January 1, 1994 to eliminate the barriers to trade in, and facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and services between the countries.


The encroachment of desert conditions on moister zones along the desert margins, where plant cover and soils are threatened by desiccation - through overuse, in part by humans and their domestic animals, and, possibly, in part because of inexorable shifts in the Earth's environmental zones.

island of development

Place built up by a government or corporation to attract foreign investment and which has relatively high concentrations of paying jobs and infrastructure.

nongovernmental organization (ngo)

international organizations that operate outside of the formal political arena but that are nevertheless influential in spearheading international initiatives on social, economic and environmental issues.

microcredit program

Program that provides small loans to poor people, especially women, to encourage development of small businesses.

industrial revolution

The term applied to the social and economic changes in agriculture, commerce and manufacturing that resulted from technological innovations and specialization in late-eighteenth-century Europe.

location theory

a logical attempt to explain the locational pattern of economic activities & the manner in which its producing areas are interrelated

variable costs

costs that change directly with the amount of production

friction of distance

the increase in time and cost that usually comes with increasing distance

distance decay

the effects of distance on interaction, generally the greater the distance the less interaction

least cost theory

Model developed by Alfred Weber according to which the location of manufacturing establishments is determined by the minimization of three critical expenses: labor, transportation, and agglomeration.


A process involving the clustering or concentrating of people or activities. The term often refers to manufacturing plants and businesses that benefit from close proximity because they share skilled-labor pools and technological and financial amenities.


The process of industrial deconcentration in response to technological advances and/or increasing costs due to congestion and competition.

locational interdependence

Theory developed by economist Harold Hotelling that suggests competitors, in trying to maximize sales, will seek to constrain each other's territory as much as possible which will therefore lead them to locate adjacent to one another in the middle of their collective customer base.

primary industrial regions

Western and Central Europe; Eastern North America; Russia and Ukrane; and Eastern Asia, each of which consists of one or more core areas of industrial development with subsidiary clusters

break of bulk point

A location where transfer is possible from one mode of transportation to another., a location along a transport route where goods must be transferred from one carrier to another. In a port, the cargoes of oceangoing ships are unloaded and put on trains, trucks, or perhaps smaller riverboats for inland distribution


A highly organized and specialized system for organizing industrial production and labor. Named after automobile producer Henry Ford, Fordist production features assembly-line production of standardized components for mass consumption.


World economic system characterized by a more flexible set of production practices in which goods are not mass produced.

Just-in-time delivery

method of inventory management made possible by efficient transportation and communication systems whereby company's keep on hand just what they need for near term production, planning that what they need for longer term production will arrive when needed

global division of labor

p, phenomenon whereby corporations and others can draw from labor markets around the world, made possible by the compression of time and space through innovation in communication and transportation systems

intermodal connections

places where two or more modes of transportation meet (including air, road, rail, barge, and ship)


process by which companies move industrial jobs to other regions with cheaper labor, leaving the newly deindustrialized region to switch to a service economy and to work through a period of high unemployment


with reference to production, to turn over in part or in total to a third party


With reference to production, to outsource to a third party located outside of the country.


the south and southwest regions of the United States


Centers or nodes of high-technology research and activity around which a high-technology corridor is sometimes established.

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