Economic growth is the increase in the market value of the goods and services produced by an economy over time. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product, or real GDP. Of more importance is the growth of the ratio of GDP to population (GDP per capita), which is also called per capita income. An increase in growth caused by more efficient use of inputs is referred to as intensive growth. GDP growth caused only by increases in inputs such as capital, population or territory is called extensive growth. In economics, “economic growth” or “economic growth theory” typically refers to growth of potential output, i.e., production at “full employment”. As an area of study, economic growth is generally distinguished from development economics. The former is primarily the study of how countries can advance their economies. The latter is the study of the economic development process particularly in low-income countries. Growth is usually calculated in real terms – i.e., inflation-adjusted terms – to eliminate the distorting effect of inflation on the price of goods produced. Measurement of economic growth uses national income accounting. Since economic growth is measured as the annual percent change of gross domestic product (GDP), it has all the advantages and drawbacks of that measure.
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