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Development theories attempt to explain the conditions that are necessary for development to occur, and weigh up the relative importance of particular conditions.
Early theories focused on understanding economic growth, and attempted to find general determinants of growth that could be applied to any instance under consideration. By looking at patterns of growth the hope was to discover some of the laws or principles which govern growth at all times and in all countries. Modern theories tend to accept that conditions for growth change over time, and are often more critical of the attempts to generate one-size-fits-all growth theories.
There are several broad categories of growth theory, including:
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