Small countries would never be able to survive the coming economic storms, right? We need to cling on to great stable financial states like, er the USA and the UK, er, right?
The potential economic benefits of Welsh independence have been set out in a new report produced by Harvard researchers Adam Price and Ben Levinger. Adam Price – a research fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Development and former MP – describes a ‘flotilla’ effect of small nations outperforming the bigger ‘dreadnoughts’ over time. The report is a serious and substantial contribution to the debate about sustainable economic growth in small nations. This is particularly timely and highly relevant to Wales and other similar European countries in this time of global economic turmoil.
3 lessons stand out:
- Small is richer: being small doesn’t hamper a country’s prosperity – in fact there is a ‘small country bonus’ amongst the EU’s member states, with smaller countries growing at a more rapid pace;
- Smaller countries are frequently the fastest to recover from recession;
- Four key factors make small nations economically successful – openness to trade;
social cohesion; adaptability; the EU’s flotilla-like structure