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Structural Adjustment - Exploring the Policy Issues

Workshop proceedings

These prooceedings were released on 18 August 1999. The proceedings are from a workshop organised by the Productivity Commission which was held in Canberra on 21 May 1999.

In recognition of the importance of how policy issues relating to structural adjustment are central to the debate on the future direction of microeconomic reform, the Commission commissioned five leading policy analysts to prepare papers for the workshop. These papers form part of the workshop. It was attended by about fifty participants including academics, senior government officials, consultants, and representatives from social and business groups and the union movement.

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  • Media release

Preliminaries
Cover, Copyright, Foreword, Contents, Abbreviations

PART A  INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW

1  Introduction
Gary Banks

2  Overview

PART B  COMMISSIONED PAPERS

3  Distributional effects of structural change: some policy implications
Fred Argy

4  Policy issues in structural adjustment
Malcolm Gray

5  Structural change, growth and 'social justice' - an essay
Wolfgang Kasper

6  Issues in structural reform
Elizabeth Savage

7  Structural adjustment: a mainly regional development perspective
Cliff Walsh

PART C  DISCUSSANT PAPERS

8  Structural change: objectives, evaluation and incentives
Peter Forsyth

9  Evaluating policy changes: the economic and social dimensions
Glenn Withers

10  Delivering effective adjustment assistance
Peter Saunders

11  Issues in adjustment assistance
Andrew Stoeckel

PART D  APPENDICES

A  Brief for commissioned papers

B  Workshop program

C  List of participants

D  Speaker and discussant profiles

Much of the recent debate about microeconomic reform in Australia reflects community concern about how adjustment and distributional consequences of reform are handled. In recognition of the importance of these issues, the Productivity Commission commissioned five leading policy analysts — Fred Argy, Malcolm Gray, Wolfgang Kasper, Elizabeth Savage and Cliff Walsh — to prepare papers for a workshop which was held in Canberra in May this year.

These papers form part of the proceedings of the workshop, Structural adjustment — exploring the policy issues, released today.

Around fifty participants attended the workshop including leading academics, senior public servants, consultants, representatives from social and business groups and the union movement.

The proceedings explore some challenging questions for policy makers. These include how adjustment and distribution issues should be dealt with in the process of evaluating specific policy changes and what approaches work best to support the adjustment process associated with implementing policy changes?

The Commission is following up the workshop with a research study setting out its position on key policy issues, to be published early next year. The workshop and subsequent research will also be used to inform the Commission's approach to its inquiries and wider program of research.

A broad summary of the main points made in the commissioned papers, discussant papers and the general discussion can be found in the overview section of the workshop proceedings. The views expressed in the workshop proceedings are those of the authors and participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Productivity Commission.

Further information

Leonora Nicol (Media and Publications) 02 6240 3239 / 0417 665 443