Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Public Policy and Administration

Advisor

Kevin Fandl

Abstract

Economic models generally fail to adequately measure positive and negative growth paths in development through agrarian, industry, and service economies. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to design a new model that could accommodate both directions of growth and better measure development paths with particular attention to labors contributions. The theoretical foundation for this study was Walt Whitman Rostow's 5 economic stages of growth classifications. This Study attempted to find the most common economic growth path. While most development models use three to five classifications, this study used nine new classifications giving it a unique and specific look at international development. The two model indicators used were gross domestic product composition by sector (the economic success of the system) and labor force occupation by sector (labors activity to help define behavior of the system). The sample included data from 279 nations from the CIA World Factbook. A systematic method of analysis was used in the open, axial, and selective theoretical coding phases. The key findings reveal 9 distinct growth phases, 15 identified growth paths, and 4 distinct path clusters which helps measure and define development behavior. This analysis resulted in building upon Rostow's original observations. The implications for social change show that policy makers can benefit from using this new model, named the behavioral international economic development growth path model, to provide improved decision making measurements related to agrarian, service, and industry sectors of the economy. In addition, public administrators in developing nations may benefit from a better understanding of more specific development paths, probabilities of path movement, and comparison of policies from same classification nations.

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