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Fragile States And Development Policy


  • Timothy Besley
  • Torsten Persson


It is widely recognized that fragile states are key symptoms of under-development in many parts of the world. Such states are incapable of delivering basic services to their citizens and political violence is commonplace. As of yet, mainstream development economics has not dealt in any systematic way with such concerns and the implications for development assistance. This paper puts forward a framework for analyzing fragile states and applies it to a variety of development policies in different types of states.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "Fragile States And Development Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 371-398, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:9:y:2011:i:3:p:371-398 DOI: j.1542-4774.2011.01022.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Svensson, Jakob, 2003. "Why conditional aid does not work and what can be done about it?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 381-402, April.
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4354 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Svensson, Jakob, 2000. "When is foreign aid policy credible? Aid dependence and conditionality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 61-84, February.
    4. Robert H. Bates, 2008. "The Logic of State Failure: Learning from Late-Century Africa," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 25(4), pages 297-314, September.
    5. Lisa Chauvet & Paul Collier, 2006. "Helping Hand ? Aid to Failing States," Working Papers DT/2006/14, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    6. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938.
    7. Bauer, P. T., 1975. "N.H. Stern on substance and method in development economics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 387-405, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boris Branisa & Carolina Cardona, 2015. "Social Institutions and Gender Inequality in Fragile States: Are They Relevant for the Post-MDG Debate?," Southern Voice Occasional Paper 21, Southern Voice.
    2. Sekeris Petros G., 2015. "State Power, State Capacity, and Development," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 21(4), pages 553-560, December.
    3. Kodila-Tedika , Oasis, 2014. "Forget your gods: African evidence on the relation between state capacity and cognitive ability of leading politicians," European Economic Letters, European Economics Letters Group, vol. 3(1), pages 7-11.
    4. Silve, Arthur & Verdier, Thierry, 2017. "A theory of regional conflict complexes," CEPR Discussion Papers 11915, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Paul COLLIER, 2014. "Fragile African States: What Should Donors Do?," Working Papers P95, FERDI.
    6. Sangnier, Marc & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2017. "Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 55-67.
    7. Graziella Bertocchi, 2011. "Growth, Colonization, and Institutional Development. In and Out of Africa," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 064, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    8. Alberto Alesina & Bryony Reich, 2013. "Nation Building," NBER Working Papers 18839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Rodriguez Acosta, Mauricio, 2016. "Essays in political economy and resource economic : A macroeconomic approach," Other publications TiSEM 1e39ef1b-43a2-4f95-892c-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    10. James, Ang, 2012. "What Drives the Formation and Persistent Development of Territorial States since 1 AD?," MPRA Paper 42357, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Tim Willems & Shaun Larcom & Mare Sarr, 2013. "What shall we do with the bad dictator?," Economics Series Working Papers 671, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    12. Axel Dreher & Andreas Fuchs & Sarah Langlotz, 2018. "The Effects of Foreign Aid on Refugee Flows," CESifo Working Paper Series 6885, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Almuth Scholl, 2013. "Debt Relief for Poor Countries: Conditionality and Effectiveness," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-23, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    14. Jimenez-Ayora, Pablo & Ulubaşoğlu, Mehmet Ali, 2015. "What underlies weak states? The role of terrain ruggedness," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 167-183.
    15. repec:elg:eechap:15325_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Paul COLLIER, 2014. "Fragile African States: What Should Donors Do?," Working Papers P95, FERDI.
    17. repec:eee:deveco:v:128:y:2017:i:c:p:49-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Hagen, Rune Jansen, 2014. "Rents and the Political Economy of Development Aid," Working Papers in Economics 07/14, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    19. Besley, Timothy, 2011. "Pathologies of the state," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 339-350.
    20. James B. Ang, 2015. "What Drives the Historical Formation and Persistent Development of Territorial States?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(4), pages 1134-1175, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • P45 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - International Linkages


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