NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Mauritius: African Success Story

Jeffrey A. Frankel

NBER Working Paper No. 16569
Issued in December 2010
NBER Program(s):   IFM

What explains the success of Mauritius, a top performer among African countries? It has mostly followed growth-enhancing policies, which can in turn be attributed to sound institutions. But from where did the institutions come? Mauritius chose well around the time of independence in 1968, for example opting for the rule of law over nationalization of its sugar plantations. Some fundamental determinants that econometrically can explain success worldwide do not work within Africa: size, remoteness, tropics, and ethnic fragmentation. An intriguing theory: small islands that were populated entirely by immigrants escape the ethnic conflict that arises when one group is indigenous.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16569

Forthcoming: Mauritius: African Success Story, Jeffrey Frankel. in African Successes: Sustainable Growth, Edwards, Johnson, and Weil. 2014

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