Sustainability Requires Balanced Economic and Social Development: The Example of the V4 Countries
It has been taken for granted for a long time that the main objective for economies has to be to maintain economic growth. Economic growth, however, especially when measured by gross domestic product (GDP) can be attractive while human and social conditions deteriorate. Globalisation has created global value chains, which are basically about locating activities into countries where they can be performed at the lowest costs. These processes can hold back economies from moving towards a higher level of development. The article examines the economic and social situation in the V4 countries in international context and on a long time horizon, by using the most important economic and social indicators. The main purpose of the analysis is to get an objective overview of the situation, and to suggest solutions to achieve a more harmonious economic and social development, which is the necessary precondition for avoiding middle income trap.