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Small Island States in the Pacific; the Tyranny of Distance


  • Chris Becker


This paper seeks to document key characteristics of small island states in the Pacific. It restricts itself to a limited number of indicators which are macro-orientated - population, fertility of land, ability to tap into economies of scale, income, and geographic isolation. It leaves aside equally important but more micro-orientated variables and development indicators. We show that small island states in the Pacific are different from countries in other regional groupings in that they are extremely isolated and have limited scope to tap economies of scale due to small populations. They often have little arable land. There is empirical evidence to suggest that these factors are related to income growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Becker, 2012. "Small Island States in the Pacific; the Tyranny of Distance," IMF Working Papers 12/223, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/223

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Yiqun Wu & Patrizia Tumbarello & Niamh Sheridan, 2012. "Global and Regional Spillovers to Pacific Island Countries," IMF Working Papers 12/154, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. L. DeBenedictis & AM. Pinna, 2015. "Islands as 'Bad Geography'. Insularity, Connectedness, Trade Costs and Trade," Working Paper CRENoS 201504, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.


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