The Future of Development

  • Ernst G. Frankel


The future of the world depends much on how we manage development in the next century. As noted, our recent experiences and approaches to development have not been successful in reducing the gap between poor and rich nations or individuals. In fact, the poorest nations are becoming relatively poorer and unless drastic changes are introduced in economic, social, and population policies, the situation may get much worse. If, for example, we assume a zero growth rate in the population of the affluent north which is highly likely, combined with a 1% growth in the GNP/capita, and at the same time a 1% population and 2% GNP/capita growth of the poorer south, the ratio of the population living in the north versus the south will grow between 1990 and 2090 from 1:4 to 1:11. Similarly, the GNP will grow from 16 trillion dollars and 4 trillion dollars to 50 trillion dollars and 66 trillion dollars, respectively. Yet if we consider GNP/capita, the change will be from $18,000 and $220 to $50,000 and $6,000, respectively. In other words, the gap in per capita income would decline from 80 to one to 8 to one. While this would be a tremendous improvement, it shows that even a century of huge gains could not close the income gap.


European Union Corporate Governance African Country Capita Income Development Project 
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© Ernst G. Frankel 2005

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  • Ernst G. Frankel

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