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Abstract

Stochastic dominance analysis was used to assess export performance in four South Pacific island countries with very limited natural resources: Cook Islands; Kiribati; Niue; and Tuvalu. Total export values declined significantly over the study period in all four countries, brought about by a significant decline in the value of agricultural exports while non-agricultural exports showed only small increases. Results seem to confirm the view that these countries have insufficient natural resource endowments for sustainable economic development without outside support. The fisheries sector holds the key to whether the economies under study (bar Niue) can transform themselves into productive ones by exploiting further the fishery resources within their EEZs to develop domestic fishing industries.

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