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Paradise Lost: The Costs of State Failure in the Pacific


  • Chauvet, Lisa
  • Collier, Paul
  • Hoeffler, Anke


Globally, state failure is hugely costly. We estimate the total cost of failing states at around US$276 billion per year. In this paper we apply our global framework and methodology to analyse the cost of failing states in the Pacific Ocean. Globally, failing states inflict very large costs on their neighbours and this both justifies and requires regional intervention in decision processes that would normally be the sovereign domain of nation states. Our analysis suggests that islands do not have neighbours in this economic sense. In this respect the Pacific region is distinctive, because its countries are islands, the neighbourhood spillovers that normally generate these costs do not apply. Due to the lack of spillovers we estimate the cost of state failure at US$36 billion. However, our results also indicate that failing states themselves suffer ...

Suggested Citation

  • Chauvet, Lisa & Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2007. "Paradise Lost: The Costs of State Failure in the Pacific," WIDER Working Paper Series 016, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2007-16

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    Cited by:

    1. Don J. Webber & StephaniƩ Rossouw, 2010. "Sub-national vulnerability measures:A spatial perspective," Working Papers 1004, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    2. StephaniƩ Rossouw & Don J. Webber, 2012. "Sub-national vulnerability and relative location: A case study of South Africa," Working Papers 2012-01, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.

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    Pacific islands; governance; costs; growth; civil war;


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