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How Fast are Small Tourism Countries Growing? Evidence from the Data for 1980–2003


  • Rinaldo Brau

    (Department of Economics and CRENoS, University of Cagliari, Viale S. Ignazio 17, 09123 Cagliari, Italy)

  • Alessandro Lanza

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and CRENoS, Corso Magenta 63, 20122 Milan, Italy)

  • Francesco Pigliaru

    (University of Cagliari and CRENoS, Viale S. Ignazio 78, 09123 Cagliari, Italy)


This paper analyses the empirical relationship between growth, country size and tourism specialization by using a data set covering the period 1980–2003. It finds that tourism countries are small and grow significantly faster than all the other subgroups considered in the analysis. Tourism appears to be an independent determining factor for growth: controlling for initial per capita income and for trade openness does not weaken the positive correlation between tourism specialization and growth. Another finding of the paper is that small states are fast growing only when they are highly specialized in tourism. In contrast with some previous conclusions in the literature, smallness per se is not good for growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Rinaldo Brau & Alessandro Lanza & Francesco Pigliaru, 2007. "How Fast are Small Tourism Countries Growing? Evidence from the Data for 1980–2003," Tourism Economics, , vol. 13(4), pages 603-613, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:toueco:v:13:y:2007:i:4:p:603-613
    DOI: 10.5367/000000007782696104

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harvey W. Armstrong & Robert Read, 1998. "Trade and Growth in Small States: The Impact of Global Trade Liberalisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 563-585, June.
    2. repec:lan:wpaper:898 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:lan:wpaper:899 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Easterly, William, 2001. "The Lost Decades: Developing Countries' Stagnation in Spite of Policy Reform 1980-1998," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 135-157, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Castellano, Rosalia & Chelli, Francesco M. & Ciommi, Mariateresa & Musella, Gaetano & Punzo, Gennaro & Salvati, Luca, 2020. "Trahit sua quemque voluptas. The multidimensional satisfaction of foreign tourists visiting Italy," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).

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    small states; growth; cross-country comparisons;


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