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Volume 59 / Social Sciences

ECONOMICS: THE CARIBBEAN AND THE GUIANAS (except Cuba and Puerto Rico)


RANSFORD W. PALMER, Professor of Economics, Howard University


THE LITERATURE REVIEWED for HLAS 59, published between 1993-98, reflects the themes that emerged during this period. Among the most common topics that preoccupied researchers and their sponsoring institutions during the first half of the 1990s are structural adjustment, economic integration, small business enterprises, globalization, sustainable development, and the role of economic policy.

In the Dominican Republic, a growing body of literature examines the performance, employment, and ownership of microenterprises (items #bi 98009260#, #bi 98009236#, #bi 98009241#, and #bi 98009252#), in contrast to the traditional Caribbean preoccupation with macroeconomic issues. The Dominican emphasis is a recognition of the importance of small enterprises in the socioeconomic conditions of the society as well as their contribution to competitiveness in a market-dominated international economy.

The literature on the Commonwealth Caribbean focuses on such broad issues as sustainable development (items #bi 98009190#, #bi 98009255#, #bi 98009165#, #bi 99001744#, and #bi 99001755#), the role of economic policy (items #bi 98009194#, #bi 98009202#, #bi 98009169#, #bi 98009248#, #bi 98009262#, and #bi 99001740#), and the impact of globalization on international trade (items #bi 99001747#, #bi 98009178#, #bi 98009204#, #bi 98009165#, and #bi 98009195#). Most Anglophone studies have a regional perspective, partly because issues such as sustainable development and globalization have regional implications.

The issue of globalization tends to drive much of the Commonwealth Caribbean focus on future development within the region. The new global era is the backdrop of discussions on human resource development, export diversification, and the alleviation of poverty, as well as on the relevance of such institutions as central banks and the Caribbean Development Bank for improving the competitiveness of the region. In this respect, much of this literature is forward looking and reflects a Caribbean region in transition. Many scholars have examined the benefits and costs following the period of fiscal and monetary adjustments, with particular emphasis on changes in the structure of the regional economy. Some of this discussion focuses on export diversification and the development of the service sector.


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