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AS and A Level: Global Interdependence & Economic Transition

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What do I need to know to get a top mark?

  1. 1 In order to understand this topic it pays to learn which countries are MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries), LEDCs (Less Economically Developed Countries) or are somewhere in between (NICs - Newly Industrialised Countries)
  2. 2 To understand the current global economic situation it is worth learning more about the past. Study the history of global economic development, including colonialism and slavery, in order to understand the present.
  3. 3 Whatever your point of view, it is important to recognise that there are positive and negative aspects to globalisation.
  4. 4 Although this is largely an economic topic, it is important to understand the social, political, environmental and cultural aspects of globalisation too.
  5. 5 Learn the definitions for key indicators such as GDP, GNP, GNI, HDI, PQLI.

Common student errors that you should ensure you avoid

  1. 1 Some students seem to think that GDP per capita is the income that each person in a country actually has. It is just the total value of the goods and services produced by a country in a given period divided by the number of people in the country.
  2. 2 Don’t forget that even the richest countries contain some very poor people and the poorest countries contain some very rich people.
  3. 3 Just because China produces many industrial goods, does not mean that it is a More Economically Developed Country. It is better to call it a Newly Industrialised Country.
  4. 4 Some students continue to use the term “Third World” to describe less economically developed countries. This is now out of date and is probably best avoided.
  5. 5 The wealth of a country is not necessarily based on quantity of natural resources which it has. It is much more complicated than that!

Key global interdependence and economic transition facts

  1. 1 The USA is the world’s largest single-country economy, followed by China. If the European Union is taken as a single entity, it has a larger economy than the USA.
  2. 2 Economic growth in China has averaged more than 10% per year over the past 30 years.
  3. 3 The global economy was by the UNDP estimated to have value of over US$ 60 trillion in 2010.
  4. 4 The UNDP also estimated that there were over 10 million US$ millionaires in 2010, while more than 3 billion people earned less than US$ 2 per day.
  5. 5 The BRIC countries are Brazil, Russia, India, and China. They are major NICs which are thought to be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development, without yet being classed as MEDCs.

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  1. What is Dependency Theory and how does it apply to development?

    This theory suggests that all countries have similar stages of development, that today's underdeveloped nations are in a similar stage than the developed countries a few years ago. Dependency theory rejected these views, arguing that underdeveloped countries are not old versions of developed countries, but they have their own features and structures that aren?t necessarily the same as the wealthy countries, and because of this, these underdeveloped countries will be the weaker members in a world market economy. In the 1960s and the 1970s, the dependency theory was extremely popular.

    • Word count: 1409
  2. Examine the factors influencing China's changing energy mix

    In 2008 China relied mainly on coal (70.2%) with oil usage of 18.7%, hydroelectricity at 6.6%, followed by natural gas and nuclear energy at 3.6% and 0.9%. The main issues faced is finding sources which are reliable and energy secure as well as sufficient to supply the needs of the population; as well as a supply that will deem it no longer the largest producer of greenhouse gases caused by the production of coal. This will be achieved by diversifying and expanding the energy mix o emphasise cleaner fuels to mitigate GHG emissions.

    • Word count: 1089
  3. Many developed counties are paying increasing attention to the needs of the disadvantaged. How far is this true in Singapore

    ? Students should also recognise that the needs of the disadvantaged should not be met by just the government alone, but also by society as well as institutions within the country. Pitfalls ? Definition of ?disadvantaged? being limited in scope - eg. referring merely to those who have lost their jobs in the current economic recession. ? Merely describing what is being done for the disadvantaged without any evaluation of whether this is in line with expectations of what a developed country is morally obliged to provide.

    • Word count: 1187

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