AP Human Geography : Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

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Example Question #3 : Growth & Diffusion Of Industrialization

In Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth, which of the following is not a component of the "Take-Off" stage?

Possible Answers:

Increased urbanization

Expansion of the secondary sector

Technological breakthroughs

Focus on textile production

Investment in social infrastructure

Correct answer:

Investment in social infrastructure

Explanation:

Walt Whitman Rostow's 1960 model of stages of economic growth describes how societies become modern, industrial economies over five separate stages. The "take-off" stage, which is the third step, describes the moment when societies move toward full industrialization in certain specific ways, such as technological innovations, urbanization, production of secondary goods such as textiles, and intense growth in specific sectors.

Example Question #1 : Rostow's Stages Of Economic Growth

Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth include all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

Traditional Society

Age of High Mass-Consumption

Drive to Maturity

Postmodern Society

Take-Off

Correct answer:

Postmodern Society

Explanation:

Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth include the following five stages: Traditional Society; Preconditions for Take-Off; Take-Off; Drive to Maturity; and Age of High Mass Consumption. Rostow's model is one of the most significant historical models of economic growth. The model does not include "Postmodern Society."

Example Question #3 : Rostow's Stages Of Economic Growth

The second stage of Rostow’s Stages of Development primarily involves __________.

Possible Answers:

The complete abandonment of primary economic activities

Large scale manufacturing and the continuation of primary economic activities

The introduction of natural resources from external sources

The movement towards a fluid and meritocratic society

External investment and greater exploitation of natural resources

Correct answer:

External investment and greater exploitation of natural resources

Explanation:

The second stage of Rostow’s Stages of Development is generally described as “prerequisites for rapid economic growth.” It is the intermediary step between a traditional, agrarian society and industrial explosion. It primarily involves external investment and a much greater exploitation of natural resources.

Example Question #5 : Growth & Diffusion Of Industrialization

How many stages are there in Rostow’s Stages of Development?

Possible Answers:

Five

Seven

Four

Eleven

Three

Correct answer:

Five

Explanation:

There are five stages in Rostow’s Stages of Development: traditional society, preconditions to takeoff, takeoff, drive to maturity, and age of high mas consumption. In the 1960s, American economist called W.W. Rostow developed this theory. It is based off of the models of economic activities.

Example Question #2 : Rostow's Stages Of Economic Growth

Which of the following best describes modern geographers’ main criticism of Rostow’s Stages of Development model?

Possible Answers:

All of these

None of these; Rostow’s model of Stages of Development is nearly universally supported by modern geographers

It places too great an emphasis on economic differences rather than considering cultural and political differences

It presumes that the experience of western economies can be universally applied

It does not consider the recent integration of the global economy through telecommunication technologies, like the internet

Correct answer:

It presumes that the experience of western economies can be universally applied

Explanation:

Rostow’s Stages of Development model is only concerned with economic geography; therefore, it would be unreasonable to criticize it for focusing on economic differences. The primary criticism leveled at Rostow’s model by contemporary geographers is that it presumes that the experience of western economies—and their path of development—can be universally applied. Modern evidence suggests that there are multiple paths to development; furthermore, evidence suggests that development can take on numerous forms.

Example Question #3 : Rostow's Stages Of Economic Growth

The fourth stage of Rostow’s Stages of Development primarily involves ___________.

Possible Answers:

the introduction of investment from external sources

the development of environmental policies and social welfare policies

the complete abandonment of primary and secondary economic activities

the development of a large commercial economy and favorable integration into the global economy

large scale investment in manufacturing and infrastructure

Correct answer:

the development of a large commercial economy and favorable integration into the global economy

Explanation:

The fourth stage of Rostow’s stages of Development primarily involves the development of a large commercial economy, something akin to consumer-capitalism. It also generally involves favorable integration into the global economy.

Example Question #4 : Rostow's Stages Of Economic Growth

The fifth stage of Rostow’s Stages of Development primarily involves __________.

Possible Answers:

large scale investment in manufacturing and infrastructure

political unrest and revolution

consumerism and mass consumption

the development of environmental policies and social welfare policies

the complete abandonment of primary and secondary economic activities

Correct answer:

consumerism and mass consumption

Explanation:

The fifth stage of Rostow’s Stages of Development is characterized by widespread consumerism and mass consumption. According to Rostow this is the final stage in the development of a country’s economy.

Example Question #5 : Rostow's Stages Of Economic Growth

The third stage of Rostow’s Stages of Development primarily involves __________.

Possible Answers:

the introduction of investment from external sources

the complete abandonment of primary economic activities

large-scale investment in manufacturing and infrastructure

a change in the social or political structure of a country

All of these answers are correct.

Correct answer:

large-scale investment in manufacturing and infrastructure

Explanation:

Introduction of investment from external sources is a characteristic of the second stage of Rostow’s model so we can eliminate that answer choice and the one that reads “all of these answers are correct.” Although, social and political change can accompany the third stage of Rostow’s model they do not define it in the way that large-scale investment in manufacturing and infrastructure do. In Rostow’s model the third stage represents the biggest revolutionary change in a country’s economic development. It is when the majority of employment transitions from primary economic activities to secondary economic activities - as has happened recently in China.

Example Question #3 : Rostow's Stages Of Economic Growth

Why do many environmentalists criticize Rostow’s model of Stages of Development?

Possible Answers:

All of the answer options making a positive statement are correct.

Because Rostow equates development with mass consumption of resources.

None of these answers are correct; Rostow is revered by environmentalists.

Because Rostow ignores the impact of renewable resources.

Because Rostow derides the importance of climate change.

Correct answer:

Because Rostow equates development with mass consumption of resources.

Explanation:

Rostow’s model of Stages of Development has been widely criticized by environmentalists and economic geographers for a variety of reasons. Rostow postulated his theory at a time before the impact of climate change and the importance of renewable resources was well understood. He is still, however, widely criticized by environmentalists because he equates the highest level of development with the mass consumption of resources.

Example Question #6 : Rostow's Stages Of Economic Growth

Deindustrialization occurs at what stage of Rostow’s model?

Possible Answers:

Fifth

Third

Deindustrializaiton is not included as a stage of Rostow's model.

Second

Fourth

Correct answer:

Deindustrializaiton is not included as a stage of Rostow's model.

Explanation:

Rostow’s model of Stages of Development does not account for deindustrialization at all. This is particularly interesting because deindustrialization in the developed world occurred almost immediately after Rostow published his model, meaning he was unable to foresee a development that was only a few years around the corner.

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