Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Mauritius: African Success Story

Contents:

Author Info

  • Frankel, Jeffrey A.

Abstract

What explains the economic success of Mauritius, a top performer among African countries? How did it develop a manufacturing sector and how has it managed to respond well to new external shocks? This paper draws on the history of the island, the writings of foreign economists, the ideas of locals, and the results of econometric tests. Mauritius has mostly followed good policies, including: creating a well-managed Export Processing Zone, conducting diplomacy regarding trade preferences, spending on education, avoiding currency overvaluation, and facilitating business. The good policies can in turn be traced back to good institutions, including property rights (particularly non-expropriation of sugar plantations), abjuration of an army, and a parliamentary structure with comprehensive participation (in the form of representation for rural districts and ethnic minorities; the “best loser system,†ever-changing coalition governments, and cabinet power-sharing in cabinet). But from where did the good institutions come? They were chosen around the time of independence (1968). Why in Mauritius and not elsewhere? Luck? Some fundamental geographic and historical determinants of trade and rule of law help explain why average income is lower in Africa than elsewhere, and trade and rule of law help explain performance in Africa just as they do worldwide. Despite those two econometric findings, the fundamental determinants are not much help in explaining relative performance within Africa. The fundamental determinants that work worldwide but not within Africa are remoteness, tropics, size and fragmentation. (Access to the sea is the one fundamental geographic determinant of trade and income that is always important.) A case in point is the high level of ethnic diversity in Mauritius, which in many places would make for dysfunctional politics. Here, however, it brings cosmopolitan benefits. The institutions manage to balance the ethnic groups; none is excluded from the system. It is intriguing that the three African countries with the highest governance rankings (Mauritius, Seychelles and Cape Verde) are all islands that had no indigenous population. It helps that everyone came from somewhere else.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4450110/Frankel_MauritiusAfrican.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4450110.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4450110

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Fax: 617-496-2554
Web page: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
  2. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
  3. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "Balance Sheet Vulnerabilities of Mauritius During a Decade of Shocks," IMF Working Papers 10/148, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Frederick van der Ploeg & Steven Poelhekke, 2008. "Volatility, Financial Development and the Natural Resource Curse," OxCarre Working Papers 003, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Camelia Minoiu & Patrick A. Imam, 2008. "Mauritius," IMF Working Papers 08/212, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jorge Braga de Macedo & Luís Brites Pereira, 2014. "Cape Verde and Mozambique as Development Successes in West and Southern Africa," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Sustainable Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Minier, Jenny A, 1998. " Democracy and Growth: Alternative Approaches," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-66, September.
  12. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  13. Garth Frazer & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "Trade Growth under the African Growth and Opportunity Act," NBER Working Papers 13222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ndulu,Benno J. & O'Connell,Stephen A. & Bates,Robert H. & Collier,Paul & Soludo,Chukwuma C., 2009. "The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960–2000," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521127752.
  15. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," Working Paper Series rwp02-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  16. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 1-20, 01.
  17. John F. Helliwell, 1992. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Alberto Alesina & Sule Ozler & Nouriel Roubini & Phillip Swagel, 1992. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Romer, Paul, 1993. "Idea gaps and object gaps in economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 543-573, December.
  20. repec:fth:stanho:e-92-3 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "Colonialism and Modern Income -- Islands as Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 12546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Arvind Subramanian & Devesh Roy, 2001. "Who Can Explain the Mauritian Miracle," IMF Working Papers 01/116, International Monetary Fund.
  23. Bulte, Erwin H. & Damania, Richard & Deacon, Robert T., 2005. "Resource intensity, institutions, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1029-1044, July.
  24. Blattman, Christopher & Hwang, Jason & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2007. "Winners and losers in the commodity lottery: The impact of terms of trade growth and volatility in the Periphery 1870-1939," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 156-179, January.
  25. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
  26. Torvik, Ragnar, 2001. "Learning by doing and the Dutch disease," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 285-306, February.
  27. Jonathan Isham & Michael Woolcock & Lant Pritchett & Gwen Busby, 2005. "The Varieties of Resource Experience: Natural Resource Export Structures and the Political Economy of Economic Growth," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-174.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Antonio David & Martin Petri, 2013. "Inclusive Growth and the Incidence of Fiscal Policy in Mauritius," IMF Working Papers 13/116, International Monetary Fund.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4450110. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ben Steinberg).

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.