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英国论文网:British and Dutch GDP:The spread of the cri(11)


is that the individual in question has interests and policies that exceed those
fitting a central bank governor in addition to lacking many job-specific skills. And
this one example is just the tip of the iceberg!
In addition, Adam Smith’s dictum that the scale of the division of labour is
determined by the size of the market also applies to the government. There are
scale economies when it comes to running the state and small nations might benefit
from the sharing of a government, as well as the central bank!
Social pressures
We now come to an equally profound problem, which is that the small size of the population
makes it inevitable that personal relationships matter more than elsewhere.
One of the keys to success for an individual starting and sustaining his or her
career in Icelandic society has been to pledge allegiance to one of the political parties
– more recently business empires – and act in accordance with its interests. It
follows that society rewards conformity and subservience instead of independent,
critical thinking. Many players in the banking saga have interwoven personal histories
going back many decades. The privatisation of the banks, not so many years
ago, appears also to have been driven by personal affections and relationships
rather than an attempt to find competent, responsible owners.
Mancur Olson’s The Logic of Collective Action, first published in 1965,6
describes the difficulties of inducing members of large groups to behave in the
Iceland faces the music 21
4 See, amongst others, Robert Wade, ‘Iceland pays price for financial excess,’ Financial Times, 1 July 2008; Robert
Wade, ‘IMF reports uncertain outlook for Iceland,’ Financial Times, 15 July 2008; Thorvaldur Gylfason, ‘Events in
Iceland: Skating on thin ice?’ VoxEU, 7 April 2008; Gylfi Zoega, ‘A spending spree,’ VoxEU 9 April 2008; Robert
Aliber, ‘Monetary turbulence and the Icelandic economy’, lecture, University of Iceland, 5 May 2008; Thorvaldur
Gylfason, ‘Hvernig finnst þér Ísland?’, Herdubreid, 27 July 2007; Gylfi Zoega (2007), ‘Stofnanaumhverfi,
frumkvöðlakraftur og vægi grundvallaratvinnuvega,’ in Endurmótun íslenskrar utanríkisstefnu 1991–2007, ed.
Valur Ingimundarson.
5 See Central Bank of Iceland, Monetary Bulletin, years 2005–2007 (http://www.sedlabanki.is/?PageID=234).
6 Mancur Olson (1971), The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Harvard University Press.
group’s interests. Clearly, political parties need to reward their members in order
to motivate them and ensure their loyalty. The same applies to labour unions and
business empires. But the smaller the country, the smaller the total surplus income


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