Unravelling the Pacific Paradox
AbstractThe performance of the Pacific Island countries (PICs) over the past two decades has been characterized by economic growth rates that are low on average yet extremely volatile. This has been so despite favorable levels of natural and human resources, high levels of public investment and aid, and reasonably prudent economic management – a phenomenon that has been labeled the “Pacific Paradox”. Questions may be posed therefore as to what accounts for this poor performance of the PICs, especially when countries elsewhere of the same size and characteristics have registered impressive growth performance during the same period? Although the inherent structural constraints characterizing the PIC economies have a direct impact on the performance of these economies, one cannot dismiss the more fundamental constraints imposed by the institutional environment in which these countries operate. The purpose of this study was to critically review the economic performance of the PICs with a view to evaluating the possible explanations for the “Pacific Paradox”. The proposition evaluated is that it is not the lack of capital or good policies that constrains the economic growth and development of these island economies, but rather the lack of appropriate institutions and incentives to accumulate and acquire human and physical capital and to make policies effective. Early tests of this proposition across several Pacific island countries indicate that ineffective institutions, leading to contract insecurity, as well as corrupt practices and bureaucratic ineffectiveness account for large reductions in the average rate of growth of national income in these countries. Unless the PICs undertake appropriate institution-building measures with a view to putting in place the conditions necessary for broad-based, sustained economic growth, these island economies will continue to live out the “Pacific Paradox”.
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 International and Development Economics in its series International and Development Economics Working Papers with number idec02-2.
Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, Building #132, Canberra ACT 0200
Phone: +61 2 6125 4705
Fax: +61 2 6125 5448
Web page: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/research/papers/
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O29 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Other
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-12-12 (All new papers)
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.:
- International Monetary Fund, 1998.
"The Quality of Governance: "Second-Generation" Civil Service Reform in Africa,"
IMF Working Papers
98/164, International Monetary Fund.
- Ul Haque, Nadeem & Aziz, Jahangir, 1999. "The Quality of Governance: 'Second-Generation' Civil Service Reform in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 8(0), pages 68-106, December.
- Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, .
"Insecure Property Rights and Government Ownership of Firms,"
97050, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, 1998. "Insecure Property Rights And Government Ownership Of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 467-496, May.
- Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, 1997. "Insecure Property rights and Government Ownership of Firms," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 51, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
- HÃ©lÃ¨ne Poirson, 1998. "Economic Security, Private Investment, and Growth in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 98/4, International Monetary Fund.
- Edgardo Campos, J. & Lien, Donald & Pradhan, Sanjay, 1999. "The Impact of Corruption on Investment: Predictability Matters," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1059-1067, June.
- Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992.
"A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
- Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
- Easterly, William & Kraay, Aart, 1999. "Small states, small problems?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2139, The World Bank.
- Isham, Jonathan & Kaufmann, Daniel & Pritchett, Lant H, 1997. "Civil Liberties, Democracy, and the Performance of Government Projects," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 219-42, May.
- Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Corruption, public finances, and the unofficial economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2169, The World Bank.
- Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Governance matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2196, The World Bank.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999.
"Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brunetti, Aymo & Kisunko, Gregory & Weder, Beatrice, 1998.
"Credibility of Rules and Economic Growth: Evidence from a Worldwide Survey of the Private Sector,"
World Bank Economic Review,
World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 353-84, September.
- Brunnetti, Aymo & Kisunko, Gregory & Weder, Beatrice, 1997. "Credibility of rules and economic growth : evidence from a worldwide survey of the private sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1760, The World Bank.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-14, May.
- Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Mind your P's and Q's : the cost of public investment is not the value of public capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1660, The World Bank.
- Goel, Rajeev K & Nelson, Michael A, 1998. " Corruption and Government Size: A Disaggregated Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(1-2), pages 107-20, October.
- Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
- Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
- Jayaraman, T-K, 1996. "Private Investment and Macroeconomic Environment in the South Pacific Island Countries : A Cross-Country Analysis," Papers 14, Asian Development Bank.
- Vito Tanzi & Hamid Reza Davoodi, 2000. "Corruption, Growth, and Public Finances," IMF Working Papers 00/182, International Monetary Fund.
- Clague, Christopher, et al, 1999. " Contract-Intensive Money: Contract Enforcement, Property Rights, and Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-211, June.
- Duncan, Ronald C., 1968. "Factor Analysis, A Farm Management Research Tool," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 36(01), March.
- Mauro, Paolo, 1998. "Corruption and the composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 263-279, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.