Globalization & Human Development
Kazakhstan and Pakistan

Globalization provides opportunities for developing countries to progress economically and increase human development. This paper defines the difference between economic development and human development and shows that Pakistan is at the low end of human development, while Kazakhstan is at and average level, considered a middle income country. Human development goes beyond measures of GDP, literacy rates, and life expectancy. Factors such as education, gender equality, welfare, and human rights are also very important.

In this paper we discuss the economic, social, and human development of Kazakhstan and Pakistan in the era of globalization. For the purpose of this discussion, we treat economic, social, and human development as essential the same, in contrast to economic growth of the respective countries. The distinction between growth and development is important, since we are focusing on the impact of globalization and development on each country’s society.

Economic growth refers to the increasing ability of a nation to produce more goods and services. Economic development implies that individuals of that nation will be better off due to changes in economic and social structures that will reduce or eliminate poverty. Economic development can be measured in a number of different ways including the Human Development Index, a Gender Empowerment Measure, a Human Poverty Index and a Human Freedom Index. All of these measures were developed by the United Nations Development Program. Globalization can have both negative and positive affects on a nation. It can impact levels of economic growth a country may experience, impact levels of unemployment or impact a country’s quality of life.

While, theoretically, having an increasing national output means greater material welfare and a rise in living standards, it does not equate to having higher levels of well being for individuals in that nation. Economic growth can, in fact, have negative impacts on a nation including environmental degradation and the loss of traditional cultural values. It also may mean there is greater inequality between different classes in society, that is, the gap between the rich and the poor may grow. It is for these reasons that economic development measurements are also used.

Economic growth as a measure fails to account for other important social and economic factors such as the size of the black market, domestic work which is not given a financial value, the level of damage to the environment and inequalities in income distribution. Various indicators have been developed to compensate for the limitations of economic growth measurements. Rather than just measuring the economic living standards in a country, development indicators measure the welfare of individuals in that country. The main development indicator used is the Human Development Index (HDI), devised by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to measure the economic achievements of a nation in combining economic growth as well as social welfare. The HDI takes into account three major factors:

• Life expectancy at birth: High levels of longevity are critical for a country’s economic and social well being.

• Levels of educational attainment: The HDI measures adult literacy and the ratio of people in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

• Gross Domestic Product per capita: seen as being a measurement of the ability of people to access goods and services.

The HDI is essentially a score between 0 and 1. A score of 0 would mean no human development has taken place and a score of 1 is the maximum amount of human development. In 2001, Kazakhstan and Pakistan were ranked as number 76 and 144, respectively. Kazakhstan’s index was 0.765, which is above the world average of 0.722, and can be considered a middle income country with medium human development. The regional index for East Asia and the Pacific coincides with the world average of 0.722. Pakistan on the other hand is ranked much lower at 144, with an index of 0.499. This indicates that the country is far below the world average and even lower than the average low income country with an index value of 0.561. It is also in the category of low human development and does not even come close the above mentioned regional average.

Globalization can impact a nation in a variety of ways. A positive effect of globalization for many nations is that it allows