Many people believe that Somalias economy has been in chaos since the collapse of its
national government in 1991. We take a comparative institutional approach to examine
Somalias 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 also describe how Somalia has provided basic law and order and a currency, which
have enabled the country to achieve the coordination that has led to improvements in its
standard of living.
Benjamin Powell is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, Director of the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University, and former President of the Association of Private Enterprise Education. Dr. Powell received his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. He has been Assistant Professor of Economics at San Jose State University, Associate Professor of Economics at Suffolk University, a Fellow with the Mercatus Center's Global Prosperity Initiative, and a Visiting Research Fellow with the American Institute for Economic Research. He is also the editor of the Independent Institute books, Housing America: Building out of Crisis and Making Poor Nations Rich.
Ryan Ford is a graduate student of economics at San Jose State University.
Alex Nowrasteh is an economics major at George Mason University.