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a process of improvement in the material conditions of people through diffusion of knowledge and technology

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 one 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 (LDC)

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

literacy rate

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

More developed country (MDC)

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

primary sector

the portion of the economy concerned with the direct extraction of materials from the 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

secondary sector

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 charging citizens more for services

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

value added

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

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