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An Assessment of Commodity Export Performance in South Pacific Countries, 1960 to 1999

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  • Fleming, Euan M.
  • Blowes, Anita
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    Abstract

    We examine export performance and the factors influencing export growth in ten South Pacific countries, concentrating on the comparative influences of geographic endowments, policies and institutions. The countries under study are Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Only Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands experienced a positive trend in total commodity export values. Agricultural export values grew significantly only in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Most countries experienced growth in non-agricultural commodity export values, albeit from a low base. As a general rule, export performance was superior for countries with richer endowments of natural resources. Geographic factors associated with small size impeded export performance in small South Pacific countries, in particular. Evidence suggests that export performance was not improved by good policies unless those policies were properly implemented. To be satisfactorily implemented, they required soundly operating and effective institutions. Unfortunately, institutional performance deteriorated over the study period and was likely to have adversely affected export performance, particularly in the primary industries.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of New England, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 12949.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:uneewp:12949

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    Keywords: International Relations/Trade;

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    1. Ron Duncan, . "Timber contracting in Melanesia: a system in need of change," Pacific Economic Bulletin, Pacific Economic Bulletin Papers, vol. 9(2), pages 20-26.
    2. C. Peter Timmer, 1997. "Farmers and Markets: The Political Economy of New Paradigms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 621-627.
    3. Hans P. Binswanger & Klaus Deininger, 1997. "Explaining Agricultural and Agrarian Policies in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1958-2005, December.
    4. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    5. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ron Duncan, . "On achieving sound and stable economic policies in the Pacific islands," Pacific Economic Bulletin, Pacific Economic Bulletin Papers, vol. 9(1), pages 21-25.
    7. Feder, Gershon, 1983. "On exports and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-2), pages 59-73.
    8. Andrew Dorward, 2001. "The Effects of Transaction Costs, Power and Risk on Contractual Arrangements: A Conceptual Framework for Quantitative Analysis," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 59-73.
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