The book is orientated towards the teaching of economics within the context of the major problems of development and underdevelopment in Third World nations and fills a major void in the teaching materials available for this purpose. It has been written for use by first-year economic students at universities throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. It examines such critical issues as economic growth, poverty and income distribution, population growth, unemployment, rural development, foreign aid, education and international trade. There has been a thorough revision and updating of all statistical data through 1990 and new discussions include international debt problems, economic stagnation in sub-Saharan Africa, the arguments for and against economic privatization, and the similarities and differences between developing countries. There are individual economic profiles of 26 developing countries. The book takes a problem-orientated approach to the teaching of economics. Problems are systematically approached by following a standard procedure with regard to the analysis and exposition of each problem.
Each chapter begins by stating the general nature of the problem (eg population, poverty, etc), its principal issues and how it is manifested in the various less developed countries. It goes on to discuss main goals and possible objectives, the role of economic principles in illuminating the problem and some possible policy alternatives and their likely consequences. It also recognizes the necessity of treating the problems of development and underdevelopment from an institutional as well as an economic perspective. Development and underdevelopment are viewed in both a domestic and global context, stressing the interdependence of the world economy in areas such as food, energy, natural resources technology and financial flows. It views many of the problems of underdevelpment as interrelated and requiring simultaneous and co-ordinated approaches to their solution at national and international levels. Finally, this book is intended to give all students a sufficient breadth of knowledge not only about development issues in their own nations but about similar ones in other Third World countries.