Working Paper
The Mauritian Success Story and its Lessons

This paper examines different explanations—initial conditions, openness to trade and FDI, and institutions—of the Mauritian growth experience since the mid-1970s. We show that arguments based on openness to trade and FDI are either misleading or incomplete. Even when correctly articulated, openness appears to be a proximate rather than an underlying explanation for the Mauritian experience. The institution-based explanation offers greater promise. Ultimately, however, the econometric results indicate that existing explanations may be incomplete. Some idiosyncratic factors, particularly Mauritian diversity and the responses to managing it, may provide the missing pieces in the story of Mauritius’s success.