Basic needs and growth-welfare trade-offs

B. E. Moon, W. J. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The controversy over trade-offs between aggregate economic performance and social welfare lies at the heart of recent debates on development policy. This study reviews these debates, identifies the specific forms of likely trade-offs, and examines the evidence over a 25yr period for a sample of 104 nations. A cross-national panel design is employed to ask two questions: does basic needs achievement compromise future growth? Does rapid growth undermine future needs achievement? Finds no evidence for the orthodox view that basic needs fulfilment or improvement compromise growth. To the contrary, basic needs attainment facilitates long-term economic growth. The evidence is somewhat less clear regarding the second question, although it appears that rapid growth does not produce substantial basic needs improvements. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-212
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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