Glossary (S - Z) [ Biz/ed Virtual Developing Country ]


[ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ]


  • Savings - That part of disposable income (income less direct taxes plus state benefits) not spent on goods and services. Savings are therefore any income that is not spent, but put aside. In an economic sense we would also include buying shares or securities as part of this. Savings are a leakage or withdrawal from the circular flow.

  • Secondary industry - That part of the economy concerned with the manufacture of goods

  • Soft loan - A loan made to a country on a concessionary basis such as a lower rate of interest

  • Soil erosion - Loss of topsoil often resulting from deforestation and wind or water erosion

  • Special Drawing Rights - Special drawing rights are a form of international money created by the IMF which is acceptable in settlement of debts between countries.

  • Specialisation - Concentrating in the production of one good or service.

  • Staple food - A main food consumed by a large proportion of the country's population

  • Structural adjustment programmes - A programme of free market and supply side reforms that multilateral agencies such as the IMF lay down as conditions for lending funds

  • Structural unemployment - Those out of work because of a permanent decline in the demand for an industry's product.

  • Subsidy - Money given to producers to reduce costs hence the market price of a good or service.

  • Subsistence farming - Farming where output is produced for consumption of the farmer and its family members and not for cash sale

  • Supply - The amount of a good which producers are both willing and able to sell at a given price. Supply will be determined by factors like the costs or production and the objectives of the firm.

  • Supply lag - A time lag between a good or service being demanded and the actual supply of that good or service

  • Supply shock - An unplanned change in supply usually occurring because of changes in weather conditions

  • Supply side policies - Government policies which create incentives for individuals and firms to increase their productivity. Supply-side policies are policies that improve the workings of markets. In this way they improve the capacity of the economy to produce and so shift the aggregate supply curve to the right. This should enable the economy to grow in a non-inflationary way. Supply-side policies are usually advocated by classical and monetarist economists who believe that free markets are the most important factor determining economic growth. Supply-side policies may include improving education and training, reducing the power of trade unions, removing regulations and so on.

  • Sustainable development - Development where consideration is given to the quality of life of future as well as current generations


  • Tariff - Taxes generally on goods imported into a country.

  • Terms of trade - The relationship between the weighted average price of exports and imports, expressed as an index value.

  • Tertiary Industry - That part of the economy concerned with the provision of services

  • Tied Aid - Bilateral Foreign aid that is given on the condition that the recipient country uses the funds to purchase goods and services from the donor country

  • Trade Liberalisation - The removal of barriers to trade such as import quotas and tariffs

  • Trade creation - The increased trade that occurs between member countries of trading blocs usually resulting from economies of scale following the enlargement of the market

  • Trade diversion - The decrease in trade following the formation of a trading bloc as trade with low cost non-trading bloc members is replaced by trade with relatively high cost trading bloc members

  • Trading bloc - A regional group of countries co-operating together to liberalise trade between each other

  • Transfer pricing - The practice that multinational enterprises adopt of organising their accounting practices so as to declare high incomes and profits in geographical areas with low taxation rates

  • Transnational Corporations - A business organisation operating in a number of countries.

  • Trickle down - The process whereby the economic gains from economic growth pass down throughout the entire society eventually giving rise to development


  • Underemployment - A situation where people are working less than they would like to

  • Urbanisation - The economic and demographic processes involved in the growth of towns and cities

  • Uruguay round - The final round of trade negotiations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

  • Usufruct - A system of land tenure where land is communally owned and people have free access to use it.


  • Value added - The difference between the value of final goods minus the cost of buying raw materials and intermediate goods.

  • Voluntary export restraints - Either an agreement between a producer and the government to limit the export of a good that is required for the home market, or, more usually, an agreement between one country and another to limit their exports to each other of certain goods.


  • WTO - The World Trade Organisation overseas and monitors world trade.

  • World Bank - An international financial institution that provides funds for development


  • ZCCM - Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) of which the government owns 60% and the South African firm Anglo American owns 27%. It generates 90% of Zambia's foreign exchange earnings and employs 37,000 people.

  • ZPA - Zambia Privatisation Agency. An independent agency that has organised the programme of privatisation that has taken place under the structural adjustment programmes instituted by the government of President Chiluba.

  • Zero growth - A policy option suggested by conservationists as a requirement if sustainability is to occur