The lesser developed countries and the oil boom of the 1970s
The industrialized societies possessed a variety of economic, technological, and managerial defenses against oil shortages and price increases which, if utilized, would have lessened the impact of the oil producers' actions in 1973 and largely avoided the repercussions of plummeting Iranian production after 1978 (Table 7.4). Political considerations within the western states precluded the application of effective counter measures during the 1970s.
Other nations lacked the capacity to respond flexibly to the price shock. In Tanzania, Bangladesh, Taiwan, the Philippines, or Brazil, each an energy importer, and in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Mexico each with a sizable energy surplus, the quest for rapid industrial development established the parameters for policy responses to soaring prices.
Russian per capita GNP is similar to that of Italy, Singapore, and Hong Kong. During the mid-1970s, income in eastern Europe compared favorably to incomes in Ireland, Spain, Greece, and South Korea. East Germany's income may have exceeded Britain's. While the Soviet bloc states created welfare, industrial, and agricultural sectors more modern than most of the oil importing LDCs, they were much less profitably linked to western economies than such nations as South Korea or Taiwan.
Within the large array of LDCs, states manifest a wide variety of economic, social, and political conditions. Political scientists, sociol-