Development and inequalities Case Studies

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Why do levels of economic development vary and how can they lead to inequalities?


  • Physical: Lacks minerals, temperate climate, few energy resources, limited flat land, tectonic hazard, no large rivers, long coast.

  • Economic: Large skilled labour supply, limited agricultural base, source of TNCs, makes over seas direct investment, efficient transport, undervalued currency, started to industrialise 100 years after uk.

  • Social: educated labour supply, low population growth, work ethic, business culture, innovative, strong democracy.

  • Political: strict control over banks (prevents crashes), aid donor, strong democracy.

  • Historical: US needed to rebuild after WW2, never was colonised (development never limited).


  • Physical: lacks minerals, monsoon climate, few energy resources, low lying, floods (river and coastal).

  • Economic: large cheap labour supply, major rice producer, exploited by TNCs, receiver of overseas direct investment, poor transport- bottlenecks (hinders progress), low status currency.

  • Social: Limited education, rapid population growth, corruption, farming culture, slow to innovate.

  • Political: Muslim banking system (limited, has to follow religion) , aid receiver, stable democracy.

  • Historical: Former british colony, civil war with Pakistan, independent in 1971.


  • Physical: lots or land, 1/5 of worlds population, mountains, alluvial lowland, coasts, varied agriculture and food supply, abundant minerals and energy supply, reserves running low, serious pollution.

  • Economic: controlled by the state, secondary sector, international trade, large importer and exporter, domestic production, cant keep up with demand, trading with weaker countries in exchange for aid and military, rural/urban income gap.

  • Social: Cheap labour, large consumer spending, banks and shops, ageing population.

  • Political: communist rule, economic reforms, keep wages down.

  • Historical: communist, border disputes, connections with West.

Inequalities within a country


  • Types: Poor interior V wealthy coastal areas, coast has 50% higher income. Wealthy urban V poor rural, 5% of chinas GDP is from Shanghai, urban earn 3X more than rural. Wealthy males V poor females. Industrial workers earn more than agricultural. Rich V poor, 204 million live on $1.25 a day. Ethnic groups, 55 non-han religions. Ill-literate V literate. Great female infant mortality. Non communist groups and use of minority languages.

  • Causes, physical: Coasts and rivers favoured, interior is hotter and steeper, coal/oil resources in the East and the coast.

  • Demographic: Lower population growth in urban, larger families in rural. Rapid migration to the cities but rural people are less mobile.

  • Economic: Favours coasts due to exports, subsistence farming, lack of investment in agriculture, limited infrastructure in rural areas.

  • Social: ageing population.

  • Cultural: coast has more investment. Ethnic minorities distrusted. Muslims in the interior.

  • Political: Government set up special zones and open cities, gov control where growth is. Rural areas suffer communist land reforms. Capital is in North East.

  • Historical: Border disputes eg Tibet, coast connected to west via Hong Kong.

  • Attempts to reduce inequalities in China: Development of interior resources eg farming, improved infrastructure in interior eg three gorges dam, spread of tourism eg Xian to see terracotta army, decentralisation of banks and industry, higher food prices – farmers earn more, poverty relief in rural areas, education and health schemes,


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