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Economic Policy Shifts in Sri Lanka: The Post-conflict Development Challenge

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  • Prema-chandra Athukorala

    ()

  • Sisira Jayasuriya

    ()

Abstract

The end of the long civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009 generated widespread expectations of a peace dividend that would enable Sri Lanka to embark on a period of sustained economic growth, but recent developments have dampened that optimism, rekindling fears that Sri Lanka’s tale of missed opportunities may continue. After showing remarkable resilience during decades of war and conflict the Sri Lankan economy has failed to capitalise on the window of opportunity presented by the end of the military conflict. In the aftermath of military victory, there has been a sharp reversal of trade liberalisation and a marked shift back towards nationalist-populist state-centred economic policies, reflecting the pressures of resurgent nationalism, an unprecedented concentration of political power in a small ruling group, and the influence of ssome powerful vested interests. Unfortunately a return to the failed past policies of inward oriented development strategies offers no viable solutions for the problems confronting small, capital and resource poor countries in today’s globalised world. Sri Lanka must change both its political practices and economic policies drastically and urgently to cope with the huge development challenges facing it in an environment of global economic turbulence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2012-15.

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Length: 43
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2012-15

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Keywords: Sri Lanka; trade liberalization reforms; civil war; post-conflict development;

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  1. Christopher Adam & David Bevan, 2004. "Aid and the Supply Side: Public Investment, Export Performance and Dutch Disease in Low Income Countries," Economics Series Working Papers 201, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Nisha Arunatilake & Sisira Kumara Jayasuriya & Saman Kelegama, 1999. "The Economic Cost of the War in Sri Lanka," Working Papers 1999.10, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  3. Bandara, Jayatilake S. & Jayasuriya, Sisira, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Sri Lanka," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48480, World Bank.
  4. Coyne, Christopher J. & Dempster, Gregory M. & Isaacs, Justin P., 2010. "Asset values and the sustainability of peace prospects," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 146-156, May.
  5. repec:ltr:wpaper:1998.11 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. David Dunham & Sisira Kumara Jayasuriya, 1998. "Equity, Growth and Insurrection: Liberalisation and the Welfare Debate in Contemporary Sri Lanka," Working Papers 1998.11, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  7. Sirimal Abeyratne, 2004. "Economic Roots of Political Conflict: The Case of Sri Lanka," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(8), pages 1295-1314, 08.
  8. Rajapatirana, Sarath, 1988. "Foreign trade and economic development: Sri Lanka's experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(10), pages 1143-1157, October.
  9. World Bank, 2004. "Sri Lanka : Development Policy Review," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14577, The World Bank.
  10. Gelb, A & Knight, John B & Sabot, R H, 1991. "Public Sector Employment, Rent Seeking and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1186-99, September.
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