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AbstractAccording to the modern theories of economic development – the take-off, backwardness, convergence and balanced growth hypothesis - the new industrialized states from Asia seem to have noticed the advantages of backwardness from which low income countries benefited, namely the possibility to take advantage of the latest technological discoveries of advanced countries, thus achieving a faster growth than the latter which operated closer to the technological border. The assimilation of appropriate technologies, however, required the efficient mobilization and allocation of resources and the improvement of human and physical capital. While the Western countries were confronted with crises generated by inflationary shocks and movements of speculative capital, the relative isolation of countries whose economy was planned by the world economy sheltered them until 1990, unemployment being practically non-existent. Asia's exceptional economic success is not only due to borrowing Western practices, but also to the fact that Asian societies maintained certain traditional features of their own culture - such as a strong work ethic - and integrated them in the modern business environment.