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Postcolonial Ireland And Zimbabwe: Stagnation Before Convergence

  • Frank Barry, Patrick Honohan and Tara McIndoe, Trinity College Dublin

This paper discusses the slow and hesitant integration of two post-colonial economies into the global economy. One is Ireland, whose independence began in 1921, but which only found its place securely at the productive frontier by the 1990s, with many setbacks on the way. The other is Zimbabwe, which ceased being a colony in 1965 but achieved proper independence only in 1980. Following independence, Zimbabwe’s economic performance in an increasingly globalized world was, like that of Ireland at first, hesitant and disappointing, even before its catastrophic decline in the past decade. Zimbabwe – now reckoned one of the poorest countries in the world – seems to have stumbled through a series of disastrous economic policy errors. Yet the struggles in Zimbabwe over land ownership and the errors in trade policy, fiscal discipline and even financial policy have parallels, more or less close, with the longer and ultimately more successful history of Irish independence.

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Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp291.

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Date of creation: 06 2009
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Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp291
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  2. Dani Rodrik, 2000. "Institutions for High-Quality Growth: What They are and How to Acquire Them," NBER Working Papers 7540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bates, Robert H & Coatsworth, John H & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2006. "Lost Decades: Lessons from Post-Independence Latin America for Today's Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 5932, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Patrick Honohan & Brendan Walsh, 2002. "Catching Up with the Leaders: The Irish Hare," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 1-78.
  5. Gerard Caprio, Jr. and Patrick Honohan, 2008. "Banking Crises," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp242, IIIS.
  6. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, June.
  7. Akwabi-Ameyaw, Kofi, 1997. "Producer cooperative resettlement projects in Zimbabwe: Lessons from a failed agricultural development strategy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 437-456, March.
  8. Margaret Chitiga & Ramos Mabugu & Tonia Kandiero, 2007. "The impact of tariff removal on poverty in Zimbabwe: A computable general equilibrium microsimulation," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 1105-1125.
  9. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
  10. Margaret Chitiga & Ramos Mabugu, 2006. "Evaluating the Impact of Land Redistribution: A CGE Microsimulation Application to Zimbabwe," Working Papers 200609, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
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