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The growing pace of change and turbulence in the worlds economy requires national economies to be adaptable. Inflexibility led to economic crisis in Eastern Europe and Africa, while adaptability characterised the economic miracle' of East Asia. The structural adjustment' programmes adopted in many developing countries reflects the extent to which the importance of these issues is now being reconized. However this book is the first to explicitly address the nature of economic adaptability. This multi-disciplinary collection of specially commissioned papers explores the subject from a wide variety of perspectives. Conceptual papers discuss treatment of the topic in economic theory and in the literature on economic development. There are case studies of Africa, East Asia and Eastern Europe and a comparitive study of responses to oil shocks. Separate chapters examine the topic as it relates to the industrial and and financial sectors. Another studies the political determinants of economic flexibility; and the final chapter seeks to draw general conclusions.
Largely non-technical, this is the first study of its kind, and it will be of great interest to the wide range of people concerned with long-run development, comparative economic performance and the problems of economic transition.