State fragility and economic vulnerability: what is measured and why?
AbstractState fragility is a concept that emerged among the international community of donors in order to adapt aid policies to particularly difficult situations. Fragility has thus been measured to design a special treatment in favour of fragile states, otherwise left behind. In this context, but somewhat paradoxically, fragility has been measured by a low policy and institutional assessment, operated through the “CPIA”, in the multilateral development banks that also used this index as the major indicator to determine their aid allocation. Some other more multidimensional measures have broadened the scope of the indicators used to identify fragility. All these measures appear to be rather subjective, unstable, leading to discordant lists of fragile states and not really representing a risk to fail. For analytical and operational reasons, there may be advantages of turning to the concept of structural economic vulnerability (apparently close, but strongly different). Structural economic vulnerability, the risk to be durably affected by exogenous shocks, depends both on the size of the shocks and on the exposure to the shocks. It can be measured by the Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI), set up at the UN to identify the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). It is a rather objective and stable index, also reflecting a risk of becoming a fragile state, as illustrated by the fact that most of the LDCs have been considered as fragile at least once. Such an index can be used as a positive criterion of aid allocation, besides the CPIA, a low income per capita and a low level of human capital. Its inclusion among aid allocation criteria is supported by equity, effectiveness and transparency reasons. It allows one to treat the case of fragile states in an integrated framework, leaving only the most acute cases of fragility or failure for an exceptional treatment.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CERDI in its series Working Papers with number 200918.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
State Fragility; aid policies;
Other versions of this item:
- Patrick Guillaumont & Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney, 2011. "State fragility and economic vulnerability: what is measured and why?," Working Papers halshs-00554284, HAL.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Baliamoune-Lutz, Mina N. & McGillivray, Mark, 2008. "State Fragility: Concept and Measurement," Working Paper Series RP2008/44, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Patrick Guillaumont, 2011. "The concept of structural economic vulnerability and its relevance for the identification of the Least Developed Countries and other purposes," CDP Background Papers 012, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vincent Mazenod).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.