Volltext: Very small countries: economic success against all odds

the following sections we will, therefore, simply take the disadvantages as given without analyzing them in greater detail – bearing in mind that their extent and impact may have been exaggerated sometimes, especial- ly for land-locked, peaceful and open VSC – and take a closer look at the advantages, which are largely intangible and very difficult to quantify. However, some of the advantages must enable certain VSC to achieve high levels of living standard; hence, for those VSC the advantages must exceed or at least level out the disadvantages of small size. One of the promising starting points for an analysis of the important determinants of high living standards in VSC is law-making authority, which will be at the heart of our considerations in the following sections. Before analyzing the sources of welfare in VSC, it is helpful to cla- rify our understanding of sovereignty again. Possible definitions of so - vereignty have been expounded in Section 2.3.2, but we did not assess the term from an economic view. Apart from legal considerations like inter- national recognition, which will be still useful in distinguishing between very small countries and small autonomous regions, we want to analyze the influence of «effective» sovereignty on economic success. To be spe- cific, we are interested in the degree of «effective» sovereignty that is ne- cessary to ensure that very small countries – which generally exhibit a very low degree of «effective» sovereignty – can pursue niche strategies and can be successful 
economically? Law-making authority,which we often refer to, is part of sover- eignty in a broader sense. Sovereignty might also include the perceptions of the citizens of a country or intangible assets, like a national anthem or national colors. The latter are apparent signs of sovereignty, but we are rather interested in the transmission mechanisms at work between «ef- fective» sovereignty and economic strategies (sovereignty put to actual use or economically «useful» sovereignty), and have to leave these emo- tional and symbolic manifestations of sovereignty aside in order to make the analysis as straightforward as possible.105Henceforth, we will there- fore not strictly distinguish between law-making authority and sover- eignty, because the possibility to pass and enforce laws within a limited territory is the most important part of sovereignty for our analysis. Note 136 
The economics of sovereignty: «secrets of success» of very small countries 105We know of course that emotional manifestations of sovereignty may have economic consequences or induce economic behavior.


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