Is there a difference between structural adjustment and “shock therapy”?

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Is there a difference between structural adjustment and “shock therapy”?

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The concepts overlap. When economic structures are no longer appropriate for the current circumstances, they need adjustment. Examples are the development of the capital and credit markets through the 19thC because older arrangements were not able to service the needs of industry and commerce, the growth and later decline of trades unions, in both cases to redress the balance of power in the workplace – and so on. Every change (however great a net benefit it will ultimately bring) is in itself painful, and so far undesirable. The therapy always shocks somebody. In the early 20thC employers were certainly shocked to find that they could no longer make unilateral decisions but had to negotiate with a large and well-organised union, as were unions in the 1980s when it dawned on them that their day too had passed: they were not now the masters. Structural change tends to be called shock therapy when it is deliberately implemented as a conscious policy decision, and when it is introduced fa

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