All the authors give a good explanation as to how improvement on productivity can help with economic growth in underdeveloped countries. Some authors such as Rostow gave a detailed account with ways to systematically drive productivity, while applying certain mechanisms to reach that goal. His theory seems to remain relevant in our ever-changing society today. Ultimately, each theorist has a compelling analysis that is necessary to help underdeveloped countries by applying their theories and shift their economy.
Rostow’s five stages of economic growth: Traditional Society, The Preconditions For Take-off, The Take – Off, The Drive to Maturity, and The Age of High Mass Consumption are his model as to how countries can generate growth. Each of these stages are subjects to the process of development. His take is that societies, politics and economics are always changing and the key for any country reaching its maximum potential is with modernizing its systems. ” In addition to these economic changes, the society ceases to accept the further extension of modern technology as an overriding objective” (Rostow, pg. 6).
Prebisch’s theory is something I also agree with and that is countries will remain depended on more affluent nations because it has been that way because of “colonialism”. “In other words, in a dynamic economy redundant manpower is continually emerging as a result of technical progress, and it tends to be absorbed to meet the increasing demand generated by that very same technical progress” (Prebisch, pg. 255). In his theory, he clearly emphasizes that the West depends on the non-affluent nations to continue making them wealthy. ” The real magnitude of the outward transfer of income depends chiefly on the income and price elasticities of demand for exports and the difference between internal costs of industrial production and import prices” (Prebisch, pg. 272). His main objective was to advocate that economic development for the West was dependent on the taking advantage of the poor countries. It comes to a conclusion from all these authors that the poor had the driving labor force.
Dos Santos’ theory is based on the notion similar to Prebisch that wealthy nations get enriched from the poor nations as well. In his point of view, this is due to the fact that this division of labor and wealth stemmed from the colonial era. This has contributed to a historical inequality of labor globally. ” The relation of interdependence between two or more economies, and between these and world trade, assumes the form of dependence when some countries (the dominant ones) can expand and can be self-sustaining, while other countries (the dependent ones) can do this only as a reflection of that expansion, which can have either a positive or a negative effect on their immediate development” (Dos Santos, pg. 231). The difference between Prebisch and Dos Santos is that Dos Santos looked at both the internal and external issues that affected an underdeveloped nations economic growth. “In the second place the industrial and technological structure responds more closely to the interests of the multinational corporations than to internal developmental needs (conceived of not only in terms of overall interests of the population, but also from the point of view of the interests of a national capitalist development)” (Dos Santos, pg. 234).
Lastly, Lewis’ theory, which took more of a capitalist approach in comparison with the other authors. He stated that politics was the major culprit of the lack of economic expansion in underdeveloped nations, which also stemmed from historical disparities. “For political reasons which are familiar to most people, but into which we did not think it our business to enquire, they would like to see the gap between income per capita in say, Western Europe, on the one hand, and say, Western Europe, on the other hand, and say, India, on the other hand, narrow instead of widen every day, as it does of present” (Lewis, pg. 269). Out of all the authors Lewis focused more on the labor force that fueled economic growth. “Nevertheless, it says that in those countries where the cultivable area is so small, relative to population, that there is a surplus population in the countryside, industrialization is also the highest priority in order to reduce unemployment and increase the national income” (Lewis, pg. 217).