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The Cost of Failing States and the Limits to Sovereignty


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


In this paper, we estimate the costs of state failure, both for the failing state itself and for its neighbours. In our analysis, the cost of failure arises from two distinct sources: organized violence due to the incapacity of the state to ensure its own citizens' security and low quality of regulation and public goods due to poor governance. To estimate the cost of failure, we proceed in two steps. First we estimate the annual loss of growth induced by state failure. Then we cumulate this loss over time, taking into account the chances that each year a failing state will exit this status. Our growth estimations suggest that a failing state at peace loses 2.6 percentage points of growth per year, while violence induces a further loss of 1.6 percentage points of growth per year. ...

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  • Chauvet, Lisa & Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2007. "The Cost of Failing States and the Limits to Sovereignty," WIDER Working Paper Series 030, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2007-30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
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    3. Todd Moss & Gunilla Pettersson & Nicolas van de Walle, 2006. "An Aid-Institutions Paradox? A Review Essay on Aid Dependency and State Building in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 74, Center for Global Development.
    4. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
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    6. Maizels, Alfred & Nissanke, Machiko K., 1984. "Motivations for aid to developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(9), pages 879-900, September.
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    8. Kosack, Stephen, 2003. "Effective Aid: How Democracy Allows Development Aid to Improve the Quality of Life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-22, January.
    9. Tanweer Akram, 2003. "The international foreign aid regime: who gets foreign aid and how much?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(11), pages 1351-1356.
    10. Dollar, David & Levin, Victoria, 2004. "Increasing selectivity of foreign aid, 1984-2002," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3299, The World Bank.
    11. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2002. "Aid allocation and poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1475-1500, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mthuli Ncube & Basil Jones, 2014. "Working Paper 197 - Estimating the Economic Cost of Fragility in Africa," Working Paper Series 2105, African Development Bank.
    2. José María, Larrú, 2012. "La relación entre la ayuda al desarrollo y la desigualdad. Evidencia y justificación teórica
      [Aid and inequality relationship. Evidence and theoretical justification]
      ," MPRA Paper 38857, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    responsibility; conflict; poverty;


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