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Volume 63 / Social Sciences

ECONOMICS: THE CARIBBEAN AND THE GUIANAS

ROBERT E. LOONEY, Professor National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School

The economies of the Caribbean have experienced varying results in recent years (item #bi2005005482#), with some countries achieving sustainable economic growth and others feeling the brunt of globalization and increased competitive pressures. As a result, increased attention has been given to examining improved productivity (items #bi2005005526# and #bi2005005540#) and strategies for attracting more foreign direct investment (item #bi2005005520#). Throughout the region, merger activity to gain economies of scale is receiving increased attention (item #bi2005005469#). There is also considerable interest in modernizing fiscal structures and financial development as a means of increasing overall competitiveness (item #bi2005005521#). The agricultural sector is also receiving renewed attention as a potential foreign exchange stimulant and as a source of employment (items #bi2003000388# and #bi2003002520#).

The economy of the Dominican Republic is receiving considerable attention with a number of excellent works documenting the challenges it faces (items #bi2005005486# and #bi2005005525#). The country has witnessed periods of excellent growth and serves as a model for other countries considering economic liberalization and stabilization. Stabilization, however, has proven especially difficult in an era of unpredictable oil price shocks (item #bi2005005519#).

The Haitian economy continues to report a subpar economic performance. The ongoing tenuous political situation and the resulting lack of foreign financing and private investment have undermined any chance for meaningful economic development. The country is receiving some attention due to the study of Dominicans who are contracting Haitian workers (item #bi2005000618#).

The Jamaican economy has shown a generally lackluster economic performance and an inability to maintain the high economic growth rates achieved 50 years ago. Many of the country's difficulties are summed up in its poor export performance. In this regard, increased scholarly attention is focused on the business community and how improved management can contribute to a more viable economy (items #bi2005005527# and #bi2005005540#).

Following the trend through the Caribbean, the economy of Trinidad and Tobago has experienced uneven economic growth. To build in some stability in incomes, the country has developed a minimum wage law, although securing compliance has been an ongoing problem for the government (item #bi2004001615#).


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