According to conventional wisdom, the process of economic development has something to do with the achievement of sustained growth in GNP per capita, a period of structural change involving, amongst other things, a rise in the importance of manufacturing industry and high-income services in national income and employment, and a demonstrable improvement in welfare or well-being for a substantial proportion of the population. In Chapter 1 we saw how, according to the World Bank, the growth of output has put Singapore in the top seven countries in the world ranked by GNP per capita (Table 6.1). Indeed, Singapore is one of the few countries historically to have achieved rapid growth in output over successive decades, even in the 1990s when expectations were that growth would fall to a more sustainable rate. Table 6.1 Ranking by GNP per capita, 1999 GNP per capita US$ 301600 271486 271024 261522 241280 241200 241041 231808 231725 231052 221448 221404 GNP per capita US$ 211897 211209 201883 201824 201751 191180 161730 161566 151147 141637 141595 Country USA Switzerland Singapore Norway Denmark Belgium Japan Austria Canada Netherlands Australia Germany Rank 4 6 7 8 12 13 14 15 16 17 20 21 Country France Finland UK Sweden Italy Ireland Spain New Zealand Portugal Korea Greece Rank 24 25 27 28 29 34 41 42 45 49 50 Note: GNP per capita is based on purchasing power parity estimates. Source: World Bank (2000, Table 1). 134 Development indicators and welfare 135 In Chapter 4 we also saw...
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