Volltext: Very small countries: economic success against all odds

signed rank test and a simple sign test do not yield significant results for both per capita GDP measures, especially due to the much higher stan- dard deviation of the VSC and SAR group. The picture changes when we take a look at unemployment figures. With the exception of Ceuta and Melilla (Spain) all VSC and SAR have lower unemployment rates than the chosen adjacent regions. Not sur- prisingly, the results of a Wilcoxon-signed rank test (p = 0.002; two-si- ded; N=15) and a sign test (p = 0.001; two-sided; N=15) are highly sig- nificant. This means that unemployment rates in VSC and SAR are sig- nificantly lower than in adjacent regions. Moreover, nine out of 15 VSC and SAR fare better with regard to per capita GDP and unemployment ratios than their adjacent regions, which can be viewed as a clear result. It is moreover very likely that the advantages of VSC and SAR are the result of the economic consequences of sovereignty and/or auto- nomy. Based on a discriminant analysis, Armstrong and Read (1995) find that the advantages of VSC and SAR are primarily based on a well developed financial service sector, abundant natural resources and on tour ism activity (in this order of importance). Especially for the first source of welfare, the financial service sector, which is the single most important variable, a considerable degree of law-making authority is a prerequisite. Our conclusion above concerning the benefits of jurisdic- tional power therefore seems to be 
corroborated. 5.3.3 Very small countries versus small autonomous regions The next step is to distinguish between VSC and SAR in order to get a better impression of the effects of autonomy. It is not surprising that we did not find statistically significant differences between the two sets. This is firstly due to the small number of observations, but it seems to be the case that it would also be true for a larger sample size. VSC charac- teristics and performance measures are very diverse, and it would there- fore be astonishing to find a clear statistical difference. Note that we are less interested in actual economic figures than in the potential of VSC versus SAR in exploiting autonomous rights in order to promote their economies. Ranking VSC and SAR results in VSC leading the list, which is a slight indicator for a higher potential of economic performance. With re- 163 
VSC versus autonomous regions of larger countries


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