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By Paul Andrew Bourne, M.Sc. (candidate), B.Sc. (Hons), Dip. Edu.




Booth (1994) wrote that, “In the early 1980s there was a widely share sense that social research and theorizing about development had reached some kind of impasse.”  He continued that “Crucial real-world questions were not being addressed and the gulf between academic inquiry and the various spheres of development policy and practice had widened to the point where practitioners were raising fundamental doubts about the ‘relevance’ of academic development studies.”  Booth’s position will form the base upon which this critical development issue will be discussed in this paper.

The development discourse has taken on a new persona in the last decade.  Traditionally, this phenomenon was seen as primarily economic.  In order that this paper be comprehensive presented within the scope of a research proposal, we will use Jamaica as the case in reference.  Health facilities were dramatically improved during the 1970’s so much so that the Infant Mortality rate decreased from 32.5% prior to 1970 to 11.3% in 1980.1   Infant mortality and life expectancy are health indicators of development of a population. According to Social and Economic Survey of Living Condition, the end of the 1970’s, Jamaica had the second lowest infant mortality rate (only the U.S was lower) and the second highest life expectancy (only the U.S. had higher) of the six countries in the study.


Jamaica’s infant mortality and life expectancy levels have improved steadily…to the point where the country’s health indicators are considerably above the third world norm, moderately better than that for middle income countries and slightly below industrialized countries. In the case of infant mortality improvements, the rate of change in Jamaica matches that achieved in the United States of America over the 1938 to 1980 period and is considerably above that achieved in most middle-income developing countries. Much of this is due to increased spending on health services as overall public spending increased.”[1]


Professor Nettleford is no strange to pre and post-independent Jamaica and so when he forwards the position that the health indicators have improved since 1938, and that the social capital of Jamaicans has significantly improved and attributes this to spending on health care services this development, he must be listened to.

Dalzell-Ward (1974:23), a medical practitioner, commented that, “The deprivation of energy foods will result in excessive fatigue which will in turn diminish social and work performance and interfere with well-being.”  This position clearly indicates a level of development.  In that, if an individual is unhealthy this will add to less hours worked and by extension a reduced production.  According to Adam Smith, this would be an indication of reduced economic growth.  From the perspective of Professor Todaro, development envelopes social, political and economic changes in peoples lives. 

            If an individual is malnourished, this will adversely affect the health of the person from which will result in mental underdevelopment, physical underdevelopment, lowered productivity, increase absenteeism, and reduce social and economic capital.  Another medical practitioner concurred with Dalzell-Ward, when she said:

“In fact, many of today’s problems with students are actually health-related.  Kids cannot learn if they are hungry, tired, hung over from alcohol, or worried about violence.  We need to eliminate barriers that affect students’ readiness to learn.  A variety of physical and mental conditions impact students’ attendance and their ability to pay attention in class anger, and restrain from self-destructive impulses.”


Although Kristina’s position was argued from the perspective of children, the same analogy can be ascribed to adults.  It is clear from a medical perspective that the health of an individual is critical to ones’ existence.  Therefore, health is a needed factor in development. Furthermore, if the individual is hungry then he/she is unable to learn which speaks to another obstacle to development.  With the importance of education and health in peoples’ lives, this proposal seeks to unearth whether or not there is a significant relationship between those variables and the level of development from a secondary data set.


Adam Smith was one of the scholars who wrote on determinants of development and their influence on peoples’ quality of life.  Smith and other economists within the Classical School theorize development only within the construct of economics.  They argue that development is primary a function of economic growth.  Economic growth was the creation of increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country over a previous period (i.e. that is usually 12-month).  From that School of thought, economic growth is the force behind any development of a society.  The transformation of any society beyond its past is accounted for by the saving of resources from economic growth.  Therefore, economic development is the transformation of the base of an economy.  This is attained through physical infrastructural changes in that society.  The Classical School believed that economic growth increases standard of living of the people.  This is accomplish by the peoples being able to afford more of the same goods and-or better quality items.  Furthermore, the Classical Theorists on the issue of economic development believed merely that this was an extension of conventional economic theory that equated "development" with growth and industrialization.   Because of that construct, Latin American, Asian and African countries were seen mostly  "underdeveloped" countries, i.e. "primitive" versions of European nations that could, with time, "develop" the institutions and standards of living of Europe and North America.

            Many persons inadvertently and incorrectly interchange economic growth and economic development as though they are synonyms. Economists posit that ‘economic growth’ is an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation.[2] GDP is the aggregate of all goods that are produced, distributed and consumed in an economy in a given year.[3]  As such, an increase entails the employment of more factors of production (land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship). Equally, G.D.P is the aggregate of the factor incomes.

Apart from the definitional properties of G.D.P, the reader must understand a thorough understanding of this measurement of production in order that s/he is able to grasp the issues that will be critically presented in this paper. 

GDP’s Growth does not automatically disaggregate into a share of production to each sector within the economy. The growth of the economy may entail all sectors getting proportionately more or proportionately less than other sectors. It has been the case on a wide scale that the owners of capital, the entrepreneurs, have been receiving significantly more of the GDP than the other participants. It is this disparity between the wage earners and the owners of capital that must be addressed in order to develop the human capital of the population as a whole. This is especially the case when capital is very unequally distributed.  An increase in productive capacity of an economy may not have been for the general good of all peoples therein but may be due largely to small sub-sector of the populace.

Economic development, however, is significantly different from that of economic growth.  In that, “Development in human society is a many sided process. At the level of the individual it implies increase in skill and capacity ………… and material well being”.[4] Implicit in that definition is the accumulation of the surplus of individual firms. In order for this surplus to be meaningful as a human indicator of development and large enough to ensure the survival of firms and improve the standard of living of those employed by the firm, the surplus cannot be consumed after a day.  If this is done, then the standard of living of the workforce will decline and this decline is concomitant with the lack of development in the domestic economy.  

Economic growth in some economies can then be associated with immizerization, in that economic growth may result in misery. This occurs when economic growth causes a high proportion of the population to become impoverished while a smaller proportion accumulates substantial wealth. As such, this growth may lead to impoverishment of a sector or some sectors within the economy but this cannot be the case for economic development implies the improvement in human capital that is not important for growth. 

On the other hand, the Modern Economists believe that development is broader than economic growth.  Professor Michael Todaro purported that there are three (3) objectives of development.  Firstly, they are “increase the availability and widen the distribution of basic life – such as food, shelter, health, and protection.  Secondly, to raise the levels of living, including, in addition to higher incomes, the better jobs, better education, and greater attention to cultural and humanistic values, all of which will serve not only to enhance material well-being also to generate greater individual and national self-esteem. Finally, he purported the expansion of social choices.”  Based on Professor Todaro’s position on development, this includes the improvement in the quality of life of people through social, political and economic determinants.


Haq et al (1987) in Human Development, Adjustment and Growth wrote, “The objective of development is people.  Yet an analysis of the development process over the last four decades will show that one of the major obstacles to economic, social and political progress in many developing countries is the insufficient attention given to the human dimension of development” (Haq et al. 1987: 3, pp. 21).  Haq analytic argument is the focal point of this paper, human development as a tool of levels of development.  When one analyses Haq’s writings (Haq et al., 1987: pp. 22 – 28), the World Bank’s World Development Reports have shown that central government expenditures on health and education have declined in low developing countries between 1980-83 and 1985-86.  Could that explain why many peoples within developing countries lack the food necessary for an active, healthy life? (Haq et al., 1987: pp. 29).

            Therefore, the issue is can there be development with human development?  According to Haq et al (1987:  pp. 33), “The first session of the Roundtable on Money and Finance in Istanbul in September 1983 declared that, solutions which do not take into the human resources building into account will fail to provide an enduring answer to the world’s financial and monetary crisis.  Until human resources needed for substantial economic growth are developed, real development will remain a dream.”  With that profound and analytic argument by Haq et al., that will set the premise upon which this paper will seek to theorize a relationship among public expenditure on health and education and its impact on human development from a secondary data set (Nations).



Adam Smith, founder of the classical school, believed that industrialization owes itself to the general nature of economic progress and particular causes of capitalistic development (The Keynesian Theory of Economic Development by Kurihara, 1959, p.13).  He believed that development was possible through technological progress of capital and by laissez-faire system (the free market – “Individualistic Capitalism”).  According to Kurihara (1959, p.14), “This proposition of Adam Smith anticipates Keynes’s retrospection that the slow rate of progress in the pre-capitalistic period was due to two retarding factors, namely, (a) ‘the remarkable absence of important technical improvements’ and (b) ‘the failure of capital to accumulate.” Freidrich List (Kurihara, 1959, p.15) was another advocate of industrialization through “economic nationalism in general and through protectionism in particular.”  Kurihara (1959, p. 15) wrote, “His theory of economic development still has a powerful appeal to present-day underdeveloped economies that are politically independent but economically dominated by advanced economies.”  Based on Kurihara’s proposition of Freidrich’s perspective, development was influenced by political system, cultural change and by extension governance. 

            Karl Marx’s theorizing on economic development was interpreted within the construct of ‘economic interpretation of history’ and ‘the motivating forces of capitalistic development’.  The latter perspective of Marx concurred with Adam Smith’s theorizing on development.  Marx further his theorizing beyond that of Smith’s perspective when he that, “[Marx] ‘materialistic’ conceptual of historical evolution, according to which economic institutions, while they are products of social evolution, are themselves capable of influencing the course of social progress.”  Although Marx partially supported Smith’s theorizing on economic development, he ventures into non-economic explanations of development.  He, however, had a casual and distant relationship with the sociological factors. 

            John Maynard Keynes (born 1883 and died 1946) advocates some of a Classical school perspective on development.  Kurihara (1959) said that, “Keyness suggested that the future rate of economic progress would depend on (a) ‘our power to control population’, (b) ‘our willingness to entrust to science the direction of those matters which are properly the concern of science,’(c) ‘our determination to avoid wars and civil dissensions’, (d) the rate of accumulation of fixed by the margin between production and our consumption.”(Kurihara, 1959, p.19).  Of the factors that Keyness did theorize, only one is economic.  Based on Kurihara’s writings, ‘our power to control population’ is governance and political, ‘our determination to avoid wars’ is social, cultural and political, and as such indicates that economic progress is highly improbable without human, social political and cultural change and development.

            Professor Sir Arthur Lewis, a Caribbean scholar and Noble laureate for his contribution to the economics profession, in ‘The Review of Black Political Economy (1989)’ reviewed by James B. Steward wrote that, “Racial Conflict and Economic Development presents deceptively incisive analyses of how race affects a variety of phenomenon including discrimination, colonialism, entrepreneurship, dual labour markets, and the international economic order.”   Lewis’ theorizing was primarily economic and so he built his model within an economic construct.  He failed just like the other Classical economists to divulge a position on cultural, social and psychological factors in regards development.  Lewis a positivist was highly concerned with building scientific model. He used time series and descriptive statistics to provide the blocks upon which he derived his theorizing.  

“Development economics is the study of how human economic circumstances change over time and how they can be made to change.” (Hogendorn, 1987:1, pp.1).  This perspective by Hogendorn supports the traditionalists’ position that development is solely economic.  They argue that growth is the primary cause of development.  Growth is broadly defined as an increase in output or income and the term development speaks to structural, institutional, and qualitative changes that expand a country’s capabilities.  The mechanism used to measure this concept is gross national product.  As such, the Classical economists (traditionalists) believe that growth can lead to development.  They also suppose that development is not possible with growth.  This position advocates that production is growth but infrastructural change is development.  This idea supports pollution, deforestation, degradation, and depletion of the environment in support of development.  Such a stance has given rise to various advocates of sustainable development as against economic development.  With this new thrust, the scope of development encompasses the environment; social, economic and political factors in addition to the new emphasis on the quality of peoples’ live in the future. 

King (2001) in Social and Economic Studies wrote that, “The budgetary allocations to the health sector also have implications for social equity.”  It is clear from Dr. King’s postulation that government spending on health care influences the quality of life of peoples within a country. This determinant of the quality of life is not limited to health but spans education, defence, political system and governance.  King (2001) forwarded that position that, “One fifth of the education [Jamaica] budget is being used on tertiary education, which does not benefit the lowest quintile.”  Although King’s finding was as stated, the actuality is that the quality of life of peoples who attain tertiary educational institutions and by extension the society benefits there from.  It appears that Dr. King is incognizant of the multiplier effect of single dollar spent on educating one university graduate.  Milton Freidman (1955) in an article titled The Role of Government in Education posited that:

A stable and democratic society is impossible without widespread acceptance of some common set of values and without a minimum degree of literacy and knowledge on the part of most citizens. Education contributes to both. In consequence, the gain from the education of a child accrues not only to the child or to his parents but to other members of the society; the education of my child contributes to other people's welfare by promoting a stable and democratic society. Yet it is not feasible to identify the particular individuals (or families) benefited or the money value of the benefit and so to charge for the services rendered. There is therefore a significant "neighborhood effect." 

Friedman’s position, therefore, contradicts Dr. King’s stance. If democracy is highly improbable with a minimum degree of literacy, then public spending on education in and of itself is a factor of improvements in the quality of peoples’ lives.  This position concurs with noble prize winner Professor Michael Todaro’s three (3) objectives of development.  Dr. Friedman in his article “The Role of Government in Education” argued that the value of educating a child does not end with the individual but extends to the society a factor Dr. King failed to “ingredientized” in his position forwarded earlier.

Professor Todaro credited Adam Smith for being the first development economists (Michael Todaro, 2000).  He wrote that, “his Wealth of Nations [Adam Smith], published in 1776, was the first treatise on economic development, the systematic study of the problems and processes of economic development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.”  Although Friedman lauded Smith for his pioneer work he cited that “I disagree with this viewpoint” (Todaro, 2000: p. 7).  He [Todaro], although an economist, believed that development spans a plethora of other factors beyond the traditionalists view on the subject.  The distinguished modern economist cited that, “there are non-economic variables, values, attitudes and institutions” (Todaro, 2000:  pp. 13).  It is this perspective that will forge shift away from the economic stance of development to a sociological perspective.

According to Musgrave (1970) who edited “A Model for the Analysis of the Development of the English Educational System from 1860” by P. W. Musgrave wrote, “the development of the educational system of a country is one specific but central example of social change’.  If educational system is a mechanism of “social change, then spending thereon must increase of quality of the human capital to society. Any change in the social position of an individual’s life transforms his/her social status – development. It is through the educational system that a society transforms itself.  This socio-political transformation is a change in the degree of development of this society.  Professor Munroe (2000) in “Introduction to Politics” forwarded the position that democracy and governance are critical indicators of development of a society.   Dr. Orville Taylor, a developmental sociologist, argued that social institutions are yardstick in measuring the development of a society.  Therefore, both distinguished academics have forwarded a position that clear indicate that development goes beyond the traditional definition of development.  Professor Todaro in “Economic Development” (Todaro, 2000:  1 and 2) outlined this position. 

Sociologists agree that school, church, peer group influence socialization and political institution, therefore, any modernization of the education system will enhance an improvement in the human and social capital (Haralambos et al., 1996).  Education is a process of transformation and so although it may not be cost in regards to its benefits to the recipient, any value added to individual by this process therefore modernized society. This modernization is referred to as development (Munoz, 1981:1 pp.1).  Munoz (1981) wrote that, “The end of World War II marked the beginning of fundamental transformations in world affairs.  The defeat of the Axis powers and the devastating toll which the war had exacted on Britain and the European allies propelled the United States into a position of economic and military preeminence.”  Munoz’s arguments concur with Todaro’s stance and further strengthen the position that development is multifaceted.  Based Munoz’s writings, political education, political transformation and social change are ingredients in development.

Although Dr. King’s findings revealed a particular position and it appears that his position does not support investment in tertiary education, Dr. Milton Friedman’s postulation clearly showed that there are benefits to be had from investment in education.  This investment in educating a populace transforms the peoples’ social position.  Any improvement in the social position of peoples’ lives influence the quality of their lives.  In order to emphasis the limitedness of traditionalists approach to development, a quotation from Hogendorn will be used that summarizes that scope.  According to Hogendorn (1987), “The standard measures of output and income are gross national product (GNP), gross domestic product (GDP), and national income.  These tools are universally used.  But there are problems with measuring output and income.  Even greater difficulties beset the employment of these tools to measure well-being or satisfaction or the standard of living or to judge the “progress” of different countries.”  It follows therefore that political system and governance must affect of the quality of peoples’ existence.  In that, a particular political system may contract the quality of peoples’ lives.  The examples here are political system in Haiti.  This system often times curtails education, health care and democracy that are components of development.

Rasheed (1998) in “development” wrote, “Generating and sustaining high growth rates, eradicating poverty and promoting human development require deliberate far-reaching transformations that go well beyond the standard economic reform measure. “  This position is shared by Professor of development economic Michael Todaro.  He (latter) argued that although economic progress is significant for development, development also relies on political system, social characteristics, governance, integration, investing in human development and boosting self-reliance.  Although Todaro is a development economist and Rasheed a developmentalist, they converge on new approach to development as against the Classical economists (including the founder of development theory, Adam Smith).  In reference to Rasheed’s position, development is simply not a simple one variable linear model (the one variable being, economic growth) but a multiple regression model of many components include human social development.  When one reads Rasheed’s theorizing it may be understood that this is limited to Africa but the same was said by Todaro an American, and as supported by other nationalists in this paper.  From a Caribbean perspective, Dr. Marie Freckleton et al (1993) wrote, “development strategies for the 1980s [included] accelerating programmes for the development of human resources in every relevant field.” 

“We shall take by way of illustration here probably the most influential model, propounded by Walt Rostow (1962).  In it emphasis on the psycho-cultural prerequisites of development . . .” (Vicky Randall et al 1998: pp. 24).  Rostow’s theorizing, Modernization Theory, is a clear position that development is primarily not economic but multi-faceted, and that it includes psychological as well as cultural factors as ingredients

Although Rostow’s theorizing clearly showed “sociological thinking”, modernization theory showed the stages through which an economic travels before development is possible.  Those stages are indication that development is not a one linear model as purported by Adam Smith and other Classical Theorists.  The classical school’s theorizing can be contrasted with contemporary developmentalists’ perspective on the issue of development.  John Toye (1987) a contemporary developmentalist wrote that, “It is important not to confuse economic growth, the expansion of the measured output of goods and services, with development.”  He continued that, “For example, output can be produced by the severe exploitation of labour – the payment of mere subsistence wages, bad health and safety conditions and the unfair treatment of workers – with the resulting profits being channeled to private bank accounts in foreign tax havens.”  The perspective forwarded by developmentalists is wider in scope of the subject matter than forwarded by classicalists or neo-classicalists.  This is so because subsistent living, poor health and unsafe environmental conditions may result in economic growth.

The various theorizing and past research findings are sole reason why this proposal is forwarded a perspective that human development is directly related to levels of development. In order to ascertain whether development’s scope is beyond economic development, the researcher will use public expenditure on health and education and other variables with the human development index to establish causality.  The researcher chose not to use GDP or GNP as theorizing has indicated that they are unable to adequate measure welfare.



This research, “an investigation of expenditure on social programmes and there influence on levels of developmentis primarily seeking to establish causal relationships between expenditure on health and education and levels of development by way of the survey method; as such, the positivists’ paradigm is the most suitable and preferred methodology.  Further, this study will test a number of hypotheses by carefully analyzing numbers in wanting to assess causality; hence, the positivist paradigm is the appropriate choice.  The positivists’ paradigm assumes objectivity, impersonality, causal laws, and rationality. This construct encapsulates scientific method, precise measurement, deductive and analytical division of social realities. From this standpoint, the objective of the researcher is to provide internal validity of the study, which, will rely totally on the scientific methods, precise measurement, value free sociology and impersonality. The researcher will use secondary data (i.e. nations) that will be provided by the department of Government in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The study will design its approach similar to that of the natural science by using logical empiricism.  This will be done by precise measurement through statistics (Chi-square test, Regression Analysis, Pearson and Spearman Correlation).  By using hypotheses testing, value free sociology, logical empiricism,  cause-and-effect relationships, precise measurement through the use of statistics and survey and deductive logical with precise observation, this study could not have used the interpretivists’ paradigm.  As the latter seeks to understand, how people within their social setting construct meaning in their natural setting which is subjective rather than the position taken in this research – an objective stance.  Conversely, this study does not intend to transform peoples’ social reality by way of empowerment but is primarily concerned with unearthing a truth that is out there and as such, that was the reason for the non-selection of the Critical Social Scientist paradigm.





General hypothesis:


There is a direct relationship between expenditure on social programmes and level of development.


Specific hypotheses:

A.           There is a positively strong relationship between expenditure on health care and levels of development;


B.     There is directly strong relationship between expenditure on education and levels of development.




Independent variables






Dependent variable


                        LEVELS OF DEVELOPMENT – Human Development Index (HDI)





According to the World Health Organization (WHO) health refers to, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being of an individual, and not merely the absence of diseases or infirmity”.




WorldNet 2.0 stated that education is “instruction, teaching, pedagogy, educational activity -- (the activities of educating or instructing or teaching; activities that impart knowledge or skill)”.  For this paper, the term education will be pedagogy (i.e. the work of a teacher; the art and science of teaching; instructional methods and strategies).




“Development has been treated by economists as if it were nothing more than an exercise in applied economics, unrelated to political ideas, forms of government, and the role of people in society.  It is high time we combine political and economic theory to consider not just ways in which societies can become more productive but the quality of the societies which are supposed to become more productive-the development of people rather than the development of things” (Professor of Development Economics: Michael P. Todaro, 2000).  Therefore, for this paper, development is the degree of the political system, forms of governance, economic development and quality of life of people in a society.


“The level of wellbeing of life style and the physical conditions in which people live.” - Definition in context






This variable will be measured based on the sum of expenditure public expenditure on health (see Nation Data Set, pubhealth).  The level of measurement of this variable is ratio as it is a percent of the Gross National Product (i.e. total money value of goods and-or services produced by an economy).




This item will be measured based on public expenditure on education (see Nation Data Set, pubeduca).  The level of measurement of this variable is ratio as it is a percent of the Gross National Product (i.e. total money value of goods and-or services produced by an economy).






For the purpose of this study, this variable will be measured based on the Human Development Index (see Nation Data Set, humandev).  The Human Development Report (2001) saw this terminology as “It measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development:
* A long and healthy life, as measured by life expectancy at birth
* Knowledge, as measured by the adult literacy rate (with two-thirds weight) and the combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio (with one-third weight)
* A decent standard of living, as measured by GDP per capita (PPP US$).



This will be measure by using the human development, and the physical quality of life index



The Nation Data Set comprises a number of secondary data sources.  The final data set was a merged file of related issues on development.  It was taken from a sampled population of 174 countries. 






The Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 12.0 will used to analyze the data.  Cross Tabulations will be used to ascertain the relationship between the dependent and the independent variables.  The method of analyses will be non-parametric chi-square test to determine if any relationship exists between the variables.  In addition to the chi-square test, Spearman and Pearson’s test may also be other non-parametric statistic that will be used in order to establish relationships among some variables. In order to establish casual relationship, the researcher will use linear regression analysis.  Contingency coefficient and Phi will be used to determine any the strength of any relationship that may exist between variables.  The level of significance that will be used is alpha=0.05, at the 95 percent confidence level.

            All the findings will be published in a later article.



Paul Andrew Bourne

Graduate Assistant

The University of the West Indies

Mona Campus

Kingston 7

Kingston, Jamaica

West Indies







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[1] See Nettleford, Rex. (Ed.) Jamaica in Independence: Essays in the Earlier Years. (Heinemann

    Publishers 1989), p.24-25


[2] See Beardshaw, John. Economics: A Students Guide. (Pitman Publishers 1992), p. 699

[3] See Beardshaw, John. Economics: A Students Guide. (Pitman Publishers 1992), p. 84

[4] See Rodney Walter. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. (Howard University Press. 1874), p.3       

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