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Leading Countries of the World

I think it may be that China and the US are the two leading countries, I am not sure. I am also not sure how to determine this.

Question:

What are two of the leading countries in today's world economy. What criteria or standards determines the leading countries? What are some factors that would let me know these could be considered two countries are in a leading position. What information or where could I find information on these two countries history for example in the same position 200 years ago? 100 years ago? 50 years ago

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Important Terms

It is important to define the important terms that determine ranking. Please take note of the following:
? GDP - or Gross Domestic Product is the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year (Wiki, 2009).
? GNP - or Gross National Product is value of all goods and services produced in a country in one year, plus income earned by its citizens abroad, minus income earned by foreigners in the country (cia.gov, 2009).
? PPP - or Purchasing Power Parity is an economic theory that states that ideally efficient markets, identical goods should have only one price to maintain price equilibrium (Brainpower, 2009).
GDP per capita - Gross domestic product per capita is the mean value of the output produced per person, which is also the country's mean income.

Analysis of Global Economies

According to Economy Watch (2010), an online economics research community run by Stanley Labs of Singapore, the top 2 countries in the world based on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is, first, the US and second, China. The rise of China is phenomenal being a developing economy. The ranking is based on the PPP & GDP with PPP measuring internal market size and GDP the economic capacity and clout the economy has into other markets aside from its own. Hence, the developed world leads in terms of GDP but bigger developing markets China, Russia, Brazil and India are catching up despite issues of instability due to political and social inconsistencies. Growth rate of economies is also an important factor with established economies growing at small percentages per annum and new developing economies growing up to 11% per annum. This is because established economies have reached saturation points limiting growth. Hence developing countries are very attractive for investors due to the possibility of growth of certain market sectors (i.e. Real Estate & the Car ...

Solution Summary

The solution is an extensive 1,121-word essay that provides descriptive statistical data and globally attributed standards that determine the judgment of which are the leading countries in the world and why in terms of economy and development. Criteria are listed, rankings are provided plus a discussion of the history and social situation of the 2 leading countries listed is included to provide a picture of the countries, 200 to 50 years ago. References are listed to allow the student to expand information given. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.

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