Natural resources and small island economies : Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago

Auty, Richard Michael (2017) Natural resources and small island economies : Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago. Journal of Development Studies, 53 (2). pp. 264-277. ISSN 0022-0388

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Historically, small economies, especially resource-rich ones, underperformed on average relative to their larger counterparts. Small island economies appear still more disadvantaged due to remoteness from both markets and agglomeration economies. Yet a comparison of two small island economies with similar initial conditions other than their mineral endowment suggests that policy outweighs size, isolation and resource endowment in determining economic performance. Resource-poor Mauritius adopted an unfashionable policy of export manufacturing that systematically eliminated surplus labour, which drove economic diversification that sustained rapid GDP growth and political maturation. Like most resource-rich economies, Trinidad and Tobago pursued policies that absorbed rent too rapidly, which impeded diversification and created an illusory prosperity vulnerable to collapse.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Development Studies
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Development Studies on 21/04/2016, available online:
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Deposited On:
27 May 2016 15:32
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:41