Obiamaka P. Egbo, Hillary Chijindu Ezeaku


Economic development theories are the supporting structure of growth literature. In view of this, this paper attempts to review selected economic development theories with the aim of highlighting their relevance to the growing empirical debate on growth and development. From the front of classical theories of economic development came the modernisation theory which focuses on effecting transformation among institutional structures in less developed countries of the world through cultural changes while buttressing that political development is indispensable in ensuring progress and conducive environment for a nation’s economic status. The theory, therefore, acknowledges the important role of politics in formulation and implementations of policies. As a response to criticisms of the dependency school and the theory of modernization, the world-systems and globalization theory emerged as direct outgrowth of the modernity and the dependency. The world-systems and globalization theories argue for a systemic level or unit of analyses order than a state-centric approach to social and economic progress while proposing a knowledge economy where cutting-edge technology plays major role in global industrialisation, capital accumulation. Furthermore, the theory of neoliberalism argue that free global trade can drive economic growth and large businesses can benefit more without government intervention.


JEL: F63; F02; O11


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economic development theories; growth and development

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