Jeffrey Frankel on Mauritius

The Little Economy That Could
Foreign Policy’s Democracy Lab blog
February 2, 2012
Commentary by: Jeffrey Frankel, James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth
Topic: Mauritius

“All right, confess: If you’ve heard of Mauritius at all, it’s probably because you know it as the former home of the dodo bird. But there are better reasons to look closely at this small island nation in the Indian Ocean, some 600 miles southeast of Madagascar. For in 2011, Mauritius was (again) ranked number one on the Ibrahim Index of governance among African countries. And by no coincidence, it remains one of the top economic performers in the region: Measured in terms of purchasing power, income per person exceeds $15,000 — more than Turkey or Brazil.

How did Mauritius manage to grab the brass ring, while so many others in the region have failed? In my own research, I have not discovered a single unique ingredient. But there are some serious lessons here on what can propel economic development.”

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