Rostow’s Stages of Growth model

The Rostow’s Stages of Growth model is one of the major historical models of economic growth. It was published by American economist Walt Whitman Rostow in 1960. The model postulates that economic growth occurs in five basic stages, of varying length:

  1. Traditional society
  2. Preconditions for take-off
  3. Take-off
  4. Drive to maturity
  5. Age of High mass consumption

Summary of Rowstow’s Stages of Growth Model

Traditional society
  • Subsistence agriculture, almost no technology, lack of mobility.
  • Primitive Primary sector economy
Pre-conditions to “take-off”
  • External demand for raw materials initiates’ economic change; development of more productive, commercial agriculture & cash crops.
  • Investments change physical environment. Spread of technology, changes in social structure, increased social mobility
Take off
  • Beginning of manufacturing
  • Primary sectors in the economy shifts quickly towards secondary. Textile and apparels are generally take off industries.
Drive to maturity
  • diversification of the industrial base; multiple industries expand & new ones take root quickly
  • Large scale investment in infrastrucure
Age of mass consumption
  • Primary sector is of greatly diminished weight in economy & societ
  • widespread and normative consumption of high-value consumer goods (e.g. automobiles) consumers typically (if not universally), have disposable income, beyond all basic needs, for additional goods