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Stages of economic growth

The theory that countries develop through a series of modes of economic organization, each leading to the next. Various such sequences have been proposed: for example, feudalism; capitalism; socialism; or hunting-gathering-herding animals-agriculture-industry-service-based economy. In each case several economies can be observed to have followed such a sequence; whether all economies must do so, or whether the order can be changed or some stages omitted, is a matter of debate.

Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.