Somalia after state collapse: Chaos or improvement?

Benjamin Powell, Ryan Ford, Alex Nowrasteh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Many people believe that Somalia's economy has been in chaos since the collapse of its national government in 1991. We take a comparative institutional approach to examine Somalia's performance relative to other African countries both when Somalia had a government and during its extended period of anarchy. We find that although Somalia is poor, its relative economic performance has improved during its period of statelessness. We describe how Somalia has provided basic law and order and a currency, enabling the country to achieve the coordination that has led to improvements in its standard of living.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-670
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Africa
  • Anarchy
  • Economic development
  • Somalia


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