Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Cornhusker Economics (January 29, 2014)


Published by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics. Copyright © [2014] Board of Regents, University of Nebraska.


In recent decades, there have been very substantial social, economic and political changes in many developing countries. While some noteworthy success stories, notably those of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have been widely reported, the prevailing image for the majority of poor countries is one of civil war, natural disasters, poverty, disease and very little progress in raising living standards. While many low- and middleincome countries continue to face serious challenges, a recent report from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) paints a more positive picture of their circumstances. The UNDP began publishing an annual report on the state of human development in 1990, and its most recent report titled “The Rise of the South” argues that there has been broad progress in human development around the world in recent years, with the result that millions of people are leading better lives and developing countries have begun to play a greater role in the global economy.