Faced with these complexities in conceptualizing development, there are many textbooks
which try to present underdevelopment in terms of certain common characteristics of the
developing countries. These include
low levels of living,
low levels of productivity,
high rates of population growth,
high and rising levels of unemployment,
high dependence on agriculture and other primary production.
Development, in contrast, is associated with some of the characteristics of the developed capitalist countries. These include the opposite of the characteristics mentioned above, and include
high levels of living,
high levels of productivity,
low or no population growth, and
the predominance of industrial or non-agricultural activities.
Such characterization, at best, provides a description of development, and underdevelopment, but it does not offer any basis for an explanation as to why and how countries are underdeveloped or what are the ways in which countries can develop. These are questions, which ark the central concern of the development theories.