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GNP per Capita
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1.

Read the definition of GNP per capita and answer the following questions:

  a. What does this indicator measure?
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  b. Why is knowing GNP per capita helpful in studying development?
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2.

Read the definitions of low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries and answer the following questions:

  a. What does this indicator measure?
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  b. What would you expect the general living conditions to be like in a low-income country?
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  c. What was the range of GNP per capita for middle-income countries in 1998?
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  d. What would you expect the general living conditions to be like in a middle-income country?
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  e. What was the range of GNP per capita for high-income countries in 1998?
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  f. What would you expect the general living conditions to be like in a high-income country?
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3.

The items listed below would be included in calculating a country’s GNP. Which items are goods? Which are services?

   
  • food
  • housing
  • teachers’ salaries
  • home computers
  • getting a haircut at the hairdressers
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4.

Answer each of the following questions briefly, referring back to the Text if necessary.

  a. Name three factors that influence economic growth.
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  b. How can population growth rate affect the GNP per capita growth rate?
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  c. Does GNP per capita give a complete picture of the standard of living of all people in a country? Why or why not?
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5.

Calculate GNP per capita for countries A and B using this formula: GNP ÷ Population = GNP per capita

   
  GNP Total world
population, 1998
GNP per capita. 1998
Country A $16,512,000,000 103,200,000  
Country B $1,560,060,000,000 121,500,000  
  Based on your answers, identify each country as low income, middle income, or high income.
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6.

Use the population information below to complete the question that follows.

   
  Percentage
of total world
population, 1998
GNP
per capita,
1998
Low-income economies 60% $520
Middle-income economies 25% $2,990
High-income economies 15% $25,480
 

How many times greater is the average GNP per capita of high-income countries than that of low-income countries?

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7.

Read the definition of growth rates, then calculate the annual GNP per capita growth rates for countries A and B using the following formula:

   
Change
in GNP
per capita
in a year
÷ GNP per
capita
at the start
of the year
x 100 = Annual
GNP per
capita
growth rate (%)
  GNP per
capita at
the start
of the year
GNP per
capita at
the end
of the year
Changes in
GNP per
capita during
the year
Annual
GNP per
capita
growth rate
Country A $113 $110    
Country B $1,590 $1,700    
 

Note: Average annual growth rates of GNP per capita for a period of years provide a better picture than rates for a single year. Calculating any growth rate for a period longer than a year requires more complicated mathematical formulas than the one used to calculate an annual rate.

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8.

Purchasing power parity (PPP) is used to compare how much a dollar can buy in different countries. If GNP per capita goes up after being adjusted for PPP, one can buy more goods and services than the GNP per capita figure would suggest. If it goes down after adjustment, one can buy less than the figure would suggest. Look at the following table and answer the questions below.

 
  GNP per capita
1998
GNP per capita (PPP)
1998
Country A $17,390 $23,790
Country B $31,250 $27,940
  a. In which country would you be able to purchase more with a dollar?
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  b. In which country is the average person likely to have the better standard of living?
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  c. Based on these data, in which country would you prefer to live? Explain your answer.
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9.

Natural resource accounting tries to measure and allow for the costs of depleting natural resources and degrading the environment that can be part of economic growth. Listed below are some products that would add value to a country’s GNP. For each product, list some potential environmental and resource costs that might not be recognized in GNP, but which would be included in natural resource accounting.

  a. Product: Wood furniture
(List potential environmental and resource costs)
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  b. Product: Food crops
(List potential environmental and resource costs)
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  c. Product: Electricity from a coal burning plant
(List potential environmental and resource costs)
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