A wide variety of techniques is used by governments to subsidize production costs. They may be grouped as subsidies to specific industries, as regional development programmes, or as subsidies for particular economic activities (which seek to raise growth rates in broad groups of industries, to bring about significant structural adjustments, and to facilitate the adjustment of enterprises to economic shocks). Such government aids to domestic industries result in some degree of distortion of trade patterns. Some of these forms of aid may represent efforts either to offset tariff and other trade concessions or to improve balance of payments positions.
State subsidies in the EC were about 82 billion ecus a year in 1986-88. Of that, agriculture took an average of 11 billion ecus a year, coal 13 billion, railways 26 billion, and industry the remainder. In 1981-86, subsidies were around 89 billion ecu a year.
Domestic subsidies and aids are prompted by greater sense of public responsibility toward improving economic conditions for those employed in depressed industries or regions, and raising the rate of growth both generally and in selected industries.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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