The sequence of stages, of which the take-off is one, is offered by Professor Rostow as a scheme for viewing and interpreting modern economic development. It is, therefore, a gloss on the major distinction between modern and non-modern (traditional) types of growth; and I regret that in offering his scheme, Professor Rostow does not spell out the characteristics that are inherent in modern economic growth and distinguish it from the traditional and other types. Many come easily to mind: a high and sustained rate of increase in real product per capita, accompanied in most cases by a high and sustained rate of increase in population; major shifts in the industrial structure of product and labour force, and in the location of the population, commonly referred, to as industrialization and urbanization; changes in the organizational units under whose auspices and guidance economic activity takes place; a rise in the proportion of capital formation to national product; shifts in the structure of consumer expenditures, accompanying urbanization and higher income per capita; changes in the character and magnitudes of international economic flows; and others that could be added. Behind all this is the increasing stock of useful knowledge derived from modern science, and the capacity of society, under the spur of modern ideology, to evolve institutions which permit a greater exploitation of the growth potential provided by that increasing stock of knowledge.


National Income Capital Formation Sustained Growth Productive Investment Domestic Saving 
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Copyright information

© International Economics Association 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Kuznets
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityUSA

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