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The growth of two small economies in the Great Depression: GDP estimation for Cyprus and Malta during the interwar period (1921-1938)

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  • Apostolides, Alexander

Abstract

This article presents the major results of the first attempt to create historical national accounts for Cyprus and Malta. It constructs the first detailed estimates of output at aggregate and sector levels, enabling the analysis of economic growth and tracing structural change. The islands’ performance is evaluated within the context of wider economic change in Europe’s South Eastern periphery, suggesting that their economic growth was slow in comparison, despite both Cyprus and Malta being far less exposed to the political upheavals of the First World War. However, the ultimate reasons for their comparatively weak growth performance differed: Cyprus experienced a prolonged agricultural crisis, but participated in the post-depression recovery through the rapid expansion of the copper mining industry. Malta’s growth was slower than Cyprus due to the combination of declining British military expenditure and accelerated demographic growth. These differences notwithstanding, the islands were ultimately affected by common problems. Their small overall size had a negative effect on their performance as global protectionism increased and restricted export opportunities. An important negative determinant for growth during the interwar period was their size, which in combination with the islands’ status as British colonies, made autarkic policies prohibitive.

Suggested Citation

  • Apostolides, Alexander, 2011. "The growth of two small economies in the Great Depression: GDP estimation for Cyprus and Malta during the interwar period (1921-1938)," MPRA Paper 30276, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30276
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/30276/1/MPRA_paper_30276.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fagerberg, Jan, 2000. "Technological progress, structural change and productivity growth: a comparative study," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 393-411, December.
    2. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2000. "International Comparisons of Real Product, 1820-1990: An Alternative Data Set," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-41, January.
    3. Feinstein, Charles H. & Temin, Peter & Toniolo, Gianni, 1997. "The European Economy Between the Wars," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774815.
    4. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 2005. "The growth of the Italian economy, 1861 1913: Preliminary second-generation estimates," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(03), pages 273-312, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2015. "World Human Development: 1870–2007," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 220-247, June.
    2. Aaron G Grech, "undated". "The evolution of the Maltese economy since independence," CBM Working Papers WP/05/2015, Central Bank of Malta.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic History; Colonial Development; GDP estimation; Sectoral Disaggregation ; Small Economies;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-

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