Economic Development: Theory and Policy Applications

By Fidelis Ezeala-Harrison | Go to book overview

10
Industrialization in the Process of
Economic Development

Industrialization has always been viewed as a necessary aspect of economic growth and development. The link between industrialization and economic development is so close that an economy's level of development is often measured by the degree to which it is industrialized. The tendency for this close association among scholars and experts in the field of economic development need not be surprising. Ever since Britain achieved the Industrial Revolution and the rest of the developed world learned from it and furthered the pace of global economic development through massive industrialization, the main criterion for economic development has been the level of industrial growth and expansion, and its impact on national incomes and per capita incomes.

This chapter examines the concept of industrialization and its various stages of achievement in an economy. The potential of industrialization in the process of development is clearly evident in the development experiences of the DCs. Higher shares of GDP generated by the industrial sector are closely associated with not only rising per capita incomes but also more egalitarian income distribution patterns. Therefore, it is generally believed that the industrialization of an LDC would result in its development.

Industrialization offers substantial dynamic benefits that are important for changing the traditional structure of the LDC, especially where such an LDC is a primary-product exporting economy that is faced with the problems of lagging export demand in the face of rising demand for employment for a rapidly expanding population and labor force. In PART II of this book, dealing with the theories of economic development, we discussed the various postulates of how economic development (and industrialization) may be achieved.

Among other concepts, we examined the notions of balanced and unbalanced growth to industrial development. Also covered was Rosenstein-Rodan's notions concerning the external economies that are realizable through industrialization by the adoption of a "big push" model in the form of a high minimum amount of industrial investment in order to overcome the economic obstacles to

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