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International Politics on the World Stage, Brief 4/e
World Politics: International Politics on the World Stage, Brief, 4/e
John T. Rourke, University of Connecticut - Storrs
Mark A. Boyer, University of Connecticut - Storrs

The Evolution of World Politics

Economic Development

<a onClick="'/olcweb/cgi/pluginpop.cgi?it=gif::Key::/sites/dl/free/007248179x/35297/map7.gif','popWin', 'width=219,height=223,resizable,scrollbars');" href="#"><img valign="absmiddle" height="16" width="16" border="0" src="/olcweb/styles/shared/linkicons/image.gif">Key (8.0K)</a>Key

Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all the goods and services produced by a country, including its net income from abroad, during a year. Although GNP is commonly used to measure relative levels of economic well-being, it is often misleading and incomplete: it does not, for example, take into account environmental deterioration, the accumulation or degradation of human and social capital, or the value of household work. In spite of its deficiencies, however, GNP is still a reasonable way to illustrate the vast differences in wealth that separate the poorest countries from the richest (as long as you keep in mind that GNP provides no measure of the distribution of wealth within a country). One of the more striking features of the map is the evidence that such a small number of countries possess so much of the world's wealth.