Development economics studies how economies develop from less developed countries (LDCs) to high income countries (HICs).
Across the planet there are developed and developing countries. HICs are typically characterized by high GDP per capita, high living standards and social freedoms. HICs include the US, UK, Germany, Japan, Spain, Canada and New Zealand among others. LDCs are typically characterized by low GDP per capita, low living standards and civil unrest. LDCs include African countries like Rwanda and Sierra Leone, Middle Eastern countries like Yemen and Asian countries like Cambodia among others.
What is Development? An increase in economic growth means GDP per capita rises, income increases and consumers can buy more basic foods so their diet improves. Moreover, as incomes keep rising, consumers can buy electrical goods like televisions and enjoy life so living standards rise further. However, an increase in economic growth does not necessarily mean there is economic development. Economic growth is necessary but not sufficient for development. Economic development is multidimensional and includes health, nutrition, education, happiness, social and political freedoms. Better education and literacy means people can read books. Social freedoms give people the right to meet friends and engage in activities they enjoy. Political freedoms mean people can vote and speak freely.