Small Island States in the Pacific: The Tyranny of Distance

29 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2012

See all articles by Chris Becker

Chris Becker

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Monetary and Capital Markets Department; Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - Domestic Market Operations Department; South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre

Date Written: September 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Small States, Microstate, Economies Of Scale, Geographic Isolation, Agriculture, National Income, Pacific Island Countries

JEL Classification: I32, O11, O18, O40, O56, O57

Suggested Citation

Becker, Chris, Small Island States in the Pacific: The Tyranny of Distance (September 2012). IMF Working Paper No. 12/223. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2169767

Chris Becker (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Monetary and Capital Markets Department ( email )

United States

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - Domestic Market Operations Department ( email )

65 Martin Place
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia

South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre ( email )

Level 5, Sasana Kijang, Bank Negara Malaysia
2 Jalan Dato’ Onn
Kuala Lumpur, 50480
Malaysia

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