Does economic growth benefit the masses? Growth, dependence, and welfare in the Third World

Glenn A. Firebaugh, F. D. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

190 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite recent economic gains in much of the Third World, sociologists have focused on the possible harm caused by the Third World's dependence on foreign investment and trade. This analysis questions that focus. Based on data for 62 less-developed countries spanning two decades, it is found that the effects of dependence largely vanish when the effects of economic growth are carefullly specified, and the "semi-difference' models in cross-national research are replaced by more appropriate difference or difference-of-logs (growth-rate) models. In light of the common claim that economic growth in the Third World benefits only the rich, the authors employ measures of national welfare that the rich cannot readily monopolize. The effects of economic growth on national welfare are large and robust, whereas the effects of dependence are hard to find. These findings contradict earlier studies. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-653
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican sociological review
Volume59
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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