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Defining the category of 'small' states

  • Tom Crowards

    (Caribbean Development Bank, Barbados)

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    There is no widely accepted definition of a small state. Most previous definitions have been based upon arbitrarily chosen cut-off values of selected criteria. The present study attempts to categorize the size of 190 states according to population, land area and total income. An initial categorization is based upon observation of each series to identify discontinuities in the distributions. Cluster analysis is then employed to identify groups of countries that share similar size-related characteristics. A classification based on non-hierarchical cluster analysis is proposed, generating four clusters from equally spaced initial cluster-centres. On this basis, 79 countries are classified as 'small'. The reasons for deviation from recent categorizations of small countries are explored, the primary cause being the inclusion of some countries with very low levels of income. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.860
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 143-179

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:14:y:2002:i:2:p:143-179
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    1. Armstrong, H. & De Kervenoael, R. J. & Li, X. & Read, R., 1998. "A comparison of the economic performance of different micro-states, and between micro-states and larger countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 639-656, April.
    2. Looney, Robert E., 1989. "Macroeconomic consequences of the size of third world nations: With special reference to the Caribbean," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 69-83, January.
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    5. Streeten, Paul, 1993. "The special problems of small countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 197-202, February.
    6. Briguglio, Lino, 1995. "Small island developing states and their economic vulnerabilities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1615-1632, September.
    7. Masih, Rumi & Masih, Abul M. M., 1996. "Macroeconomic activity dynamics and Granger causality: New evidence from a small developing economy based on a vector error-correction modelling analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 407-426, July.
    8. Gruen, David W R & Smith, Jeremy, 1994. "Excess Returns in a Small Open Economy," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 70(211), pages 381-96, December.
    9. Khatkhate, Deena R. & Short, Brock K., 1980. "Monetary and central banking problems of mini states," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(12), pages 1017-1025, December.
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    12. Milner, Chris & Westaway, Tony, 1993. "Country size and the medium-term growth process: Some cross-country evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 203-211, February.
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