Simon Kuznets has criticized Rostow’s stages of Growth Theory in the following way which may be quoted below :
1. According to Rostow, a leading sector is one which has its impact upon other sectors of the economy. “Leadership of a sector depends upon the origin of its growth in an autonomous impulse, not in response to other sectors in the country and upon the magnitude of its direct and indirect contributions to the country’s economic growth. The autonomous impulse and the various types of contribution to growth differ in timing and identification and chronology of leading sectors requires-specification and evidence lacking in Prof. Rostow’s discussion.
2. “There is no clear distinction between the pre-conditions and take-off stages. On the contrary given the pre-conditions emphasized by Prof. Rostow, transformation of agriculture and overhead capital investments—there is a prima-facie case for expecting the preconditions and the take-off stages to overlap.”
3. The analysis of the take-off and pre-conditions stages neglects the effect of historical heritage, time of entry into the process of modem economic growth, degree of backwardness, and other relevant factors on the characteristics of the early phases of modem economic growth in the different traditional countries.
4. “The concept (and stage) of self-sustained growth is a misleading oversimplification. No growth is purely self-sustaining or purely self-limiting, and of others, by implication as lacking that property, requires substantive evidence not provided in Prof. Rostow’s discussion.”
5. Rostow has tried to equate poverty or the traditional society with a predominantly agricultural economy. Denmark, New Zealand are mainly agricultural economies; at the same time they are quite affluent and developed.
6. Rostow’s theory reflects poor history. In his opinion, economic development can be demarcated into five clearly separated stages. These stages reveal a certain degree of uniformity. There is no guarantee that a country must go through all these stages one after another.
7. According to Rostow, there are certain leading sectors expansion in which will spread to other sectors. But in the developing economies there are certain cultural, political and social bottlenecks due to which self-sustained growth may not take place.
8. Besides, we do not have an adequate basis for generalization in Rostow’s analysis. The number of countries taken are very less—being only twelve. Key statistics analysed are inadequate,