Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: October 22, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956260 | Print ISBN: 9781412916523 | Online ISBN: 9781412956260| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gary R. Horvath
Economic growth is most commonly defined as the rate of increase in the value of a country's output over a period of time. It is often presumed that economic growth is necessary and valuable to a society because it is accompanied by an improved quality of life for that society's citizens. For example, increased economic growth may allow a society to become better educated. As a result, more effective medical systems will be developed that allow for healthier lifestyles within that society. In this example, societal gains are achieved from both fiscal and health perspectives. As a means of gaining a more comprehensive understanding of economic growth, it is instructive to look at the theories of some of the topic's thought leaders over time. This perspective will make it easier to understand the wide array of successful and unsuccessful economic development or growth policies used by various government entities. Although ...