NBER Working Paper No. 16569
Issued in December 2010
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.