Binding Constraints to Economic Growth in the Pacific Islands: Some Comparative Insights


Ron Duncan and Hilarian Codippily, with Emele Duituturaga and Raijieli Bulatale

Pacific Islands Brief, No. 1


Honolulu: East-West Center

Publication Date: April 25, 2012
Binding: electronic
Pages: 6
Free Download: PDF


What can Pacific island countries learn from successful small island economies in other parts of the world? To answer this question, the approach to economic growth and development of four Pacific island countries—Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, and Samoa—is compared to that of Maldives and Barbados. Both are small island economies that have identified and overcome their binding constraints to economic growth, resulting in long periods of strong economic performance and improvements in general welfare.

Of the four Pacific island countries studied, Fiji and Kiribati have carried out economic reforms, but not the comprehensive type of reforms undertaken by Samoa and Cook Islands. Therefore, as well as the comparison with Maldives and Barbados, we compare the results of the reforms attempted across the four Pacific countries to gain a better understanding of the reasons for the different outcomes.