Economic growth is an increase in the output of an economy over time. It is often measured as the percentage change in the gross domestic product (GDP) or real GDP. The primary sources of economic growth are improvements in human capital, natural, physical, institutional, factors and technological advancement (Mayer, 2010). Manipulating these factors leads to increasing business productivity and efficiency, investment in new technology and infrastructure, and expanding trade with other countries. These factors all have an impact on overall levels of output and employment (Mayer, 2010). Moreover, government policy can significantly impact the most important sources of economic growth, this is because government policies do promote or inhibit the development of specific sectors of the economy, and this, in turn, can affect economic growth. The paper intends to open a discourse on sources of economic growth, policy to improve negative economic growth, and personal reflection on the topic “Sources of economic growth.”
Improvements in Human Capital
The term “human capital” describes people’s abilities and knowledge that may be applied to create economic value. Given that it may result in higher productivity and living standards, it is a crucial element of economic progress (Mayer, 2010). The weight of human capital in promoting economic growth is based on various policies. One of the best policies to enhance human capital as a source of economic growth is investing in people through quality education and training. Investment in human capital is essential for several reasons (Yevdokimov, 2012). First, it can lead to greater productivity because those with superior talents are better able to obtain employment that uses their expertise. They can launch their firms as well, which could boost the economy.
Natural factors of economic growth are land, Capital, labor, and environment. Land refers to the physical space and all of the natural resources, such as minerals, forests, and water, used to produce goods and services (Yevdokimov, 2012). The labor force consists of all people able and willing to work in the economy. Capital refers to the money and equipment used to produce goods and services. The environment includes everything surrounding a country, from the air to the ground. It affects everything from weather patterns to the availability of food and water. Properly managed natural resources can provide the basis for long-term economic growth and development, while their depletion can lead to economic decline. Several policy measures can help to ensure the sustainable use and enhancement of natural resources. One important measure is to put in place regulations that prohibit or restrict activities that would lead to the depletion of natural resources (Mayer, 2010). For example, governments often regulate the extraction of oil and gas reserves to ensure that these resources are used sustainably. This can be done by disseminating information about the benefits of using natural resources in an environmentally friendly way, working with educational institutions to promote environmentally responsible behavior, and engaging in public awareness campaigns.
Physical factors of economic growth are the resources and infrastructure a country has available to produce goods and services. These include land, labor, capital, and technology. There are several policies that can be implemented to enhance the physical factors of economic growth. One is improving infrastructure, which involves improving roads, bridges, and airports. It also includes investments in energy and telecommunications systems. These improvements make it easier for businesses to operate and expand their operations. Overall, the physical factors of economic growth are important because they help a country produce more goods and services per unit of input. A country can improve its overall productivity by implementing policies that enhance these factors, ultimately leading to increased economic growth.
Institutional factors and Technological Advancements
Institutional factors refer to the rules and regulations that govern economic activity. They include the legal and regulatory framework, the financial system, and the property rights system. All these factors affect the incentives for firms to invest and produce. Technological factors refer to the state of the technology sector (Yevdokimov, 2012). They include the quality of goods and services, production efficiency, and innovation pace. All these factors affect how easily firms can compete in markets and produce goods and services that consumers want. It is generally agreed that technological development plays a significant role in economic progress. New technologies can boost production and raise the caliber of products and services. Additionally, they can help firms by opening up new markets and opportunities. New technology can also result in the creation of new sectors and jobs (Mayer, 2010). One of the key policies that can be implemented to improve institutional factors and technological factors of economic growth is encouraging investment in research and development; this can be done by providing tax incentives for companies to invest in research and development (Mayer, 2010). Overall, many policies can be implemented to improve institutional and technological factors of economic growth. Policymakers need to consider these policies when making decisions about economic growth.
The Downsides of Economic Growth
Environmental deterioration and social inequality are two of the many drawbacks of economic progress. When the environment cannot support the demands placed on it by economic growth, environmental deterioration results. This may result in the contamination of the air, water, and natural resources (Yevdokimov, 2012). Pollution of the environment over time can negatively affect both the economy and public health. Social inequality occurs when economic growth favors a tiny percentage of the population while leaving the majority behind. This may result in increased poverty and inequality as well as societal upheaval. Because it puts strain on natural resources, it also has a harmful effect on the environment.
The policy that reduces the Negative Impact of Growth
There are several policies that could help reduce the negative impacts of growth, one of which is more investment in public transport and infrastructure to help reduce congestion and pollution. Investing in public transport and infrastructure is one of the most effective ways to reduce congestion and pollution (Yevdokimov, 2012). Public transport provides a more sustainable, cheaper, and efficient option than driving. It also reduces the number of cars on the roads, which can help improve air quality and reduce road accidents. Policymakers must consider this option when developing policies regarding growth.
Conclusion and Self-reflection
The most significant lesson I’ve learned is how important economic growth is to raise a nation’s average living standards. The fact that economic progress is a means rather than an end in itself is another thing I’ve learned. The betterment of a nation’s citizenry’s welfare is that goal. Therefore, any policies implemented to enhance the sources of economic growth must be created with that objective in mind. Otherwise, they are likely to be ineffective or even harmful. Any policies that support it should be carefully considered because economic growth is crucial for raising the standard of living for a nation’s population. This study has shown me, in my opinion, that economic growth is a complicated topic and that enhancing the sources of growth does not really have a simple solution. But some measures may be taken to boost growth, and they should be properly thought out before implementation.
Mayer, D. A. (2010). The Everything Economics Book: From theory to practice, your complete guide to understanding economics today. Simon and Schuster.
Yevdokimov, Y. (2012). Practical guide to contemporary economics. Bookboon.