B. Higgins, cited in Andre Gunder-Frank’s The Underdevelopment of Development
“Anything that raises the level of human welfare contributes to development; anything that reduces welfare is anti-development, a subtraction from development. Thus, damage to the environment, exhaustion of non-renewable resources, deterioration of the quality of life, destructions of traditional cultural values, increasing inequalities, or loss of freedom which may appear as side effects of certain strategies to promote development reduce the amount of development that is actually achieved. By definition — my definition — there can be no conflict between efficiency and development. They are one and the same thing, and so are improvements in the level of welfare [and social justice, which Higgins adds below]”
Of course the problem with a definition such as this is that it’s almost tautologically straightforward. “Development is all this good stuff.” Unfortunately, just about everything fails to live up to these criteria.
Higgins, B. 1991. “Equity and Efficiency in Economic Development” in Equity and Efficiency in Economic Development: Essays in Honor of Benjamin Higgins. Donald J. Savoie, Ed. Montreal:McGill QUeens University Press forthcoming
(citation from Gunder-Frank)