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Small states, small problems?

  • Easterly, William
  • Kraay, Aart

Small states have attracted a good deal of research. The authors test whether micro-states are any different from other states in income, growth, and volatility. They find that, controlling for location, smaller states are actually richer than other states in per capita GDP. This income advantage largely reflects a productivity advantage--evidence against the idea that micro-states are unable to exploit increasing rates of return to scale. Small states do not have different per capita growth rates, with or without controls. Their annual growth rates are more volatile, partly because of their greater volatility in responses to terms-of-trade shocks--to which they are exposed because of their greater openness pays off positively in growth. The authors do recommend that small states diversify their risk by opening up more to international capital markets, although the benefits of doing so are still unresolved in the literature. In general, they conclude, small states are nor different from large states and should receive the same policy advice large states do.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2139.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2139
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  1. William Easterly & Sergio Rebelo, 1993. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 4499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  3. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-51, December.
  4. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  5. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  6. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  7. Farrugia, Charles, 1993. "The special working environment of senior administrators in small states," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 221-226, February.
  8. Paul Cashin & Norman Loayza, 1995. "Paradise Lost? Growth, Convergence, and Migration in the South Pacific," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(3), pages 608-641, September.
  9. Briguglio, Lino, 1995. "Small island developing states and their economic vulnerabilities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1615-1632, September.
  10. Armstrong, H. & De Kervenoael, R. J. & Li, X. & Read, R., 1998. "A comparison of the economic performance of different micro-states, and between micro-states and larger countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 639-656, April.
  11. Srinivasan, T N, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Being a Small, Remote, Island, Landlocked, or Ministate Economy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 1(2), pages 205-18, July.
  12. Milner, Chris & Westaway, Tony, 1993. "Country size and the medium-term growth process: Some cross-country evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 203-211, February.
  13. Lewis, Karen K, 1996. "What Can Explain the Apparent Lack of International Consumption Risk Sharing?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 267-97, April.
  14. Streeten, Paul, 1993. "The special problems of small countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 197-202, February.
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