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The phantom of liberty?: economic growth and the vulnerability of small states

  • Harvey W. Armstrong

    (Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

  • Robert Read

    (Department of Economics, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, UK)

This paper is concerned with the relationship between economic growth in small states and their vulnerability. A critical argument in much of the literature on small states, particularly small island states, is that their growth performance is greatly constrained by their vulnerability to exogenous shocks because of their size. These shocks include economic, political and environmental factors, which together dampen the long-run growth rate of these economies. The paper makes use of a global small state data set and appropriate quantitative techniques to test the relationship between growth and vulnerability using the results of Briguglio's Vulnerability Index. The results highlight some of the conceptual shortcomings in the analytical literature on small states, particularly islands, as well as suggesting that the Vulnerability Index is mis-specified. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.886
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 14 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 435-458

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:14:y:2002:i:4:p:435-458
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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  1. Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
  2. Armstrong, Harvey & Read, Robert, 1995. "Western European micro-states and EU autonomous regions: The advantages of size and sovereignty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 1229-1245, July.
  3. 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.
  4. repec:lan:wpaper:898 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "Convergence across States and Regions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
  6. repec:lan:wpaper:899 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Armstrong, H W & Read, R, 2000. "Comparing the Economic Performance of Dependent Territories and Sovereign Microstates," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 285-306, January.
  8. R A Read & H W Armstrong, 1998. "Trade and growth in small states: the impact of global trade liberalisation," Working Papers 539452, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  9. H Armstrong, R de Kervenoael, Xiao-Ming Li and R Read, . "A Comparision of the economic performance of different micro-states and between micro-states and larger countries," Working Papers ec9/97, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
  10. Ashcroft, Brian K, 1988. "External Takeovers in Scottish Manufacturing: The Effect on Local Linkages and Corporate Functions," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 35(2), pages 129-48, May.
  11. Briguglio, Lino, 1995. "Small island developing states and their economic vulnerabilities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1615-1632, September.
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