IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Deindustrialization and Unsustainable Debt in Middle-Income Countries: The Case of Puerto Rico


  • Caraballo-Cueto Jose

    (University of Puerto Rico, Business Administration, 205, Calle Antonio R. Barceló,Cayey, Puerto Rico)

  • Lara Juan

    (University of Puerto Rico, Department of Economics, San Juan, Puerto Rico)


Puerto Rico recently became the largest bankruptcy case in the history of the U.S. municipal bond market. This debt crisis has not been the subject of significant scrutiny in the economic literature, though many researchers focus on case studies, such as Greece and Argentina, to analyze a country’s indebtedness. The underlying economic factors that influence unsustainable debt in upper middle-income countries are generally understudied. We attempted to contribute to filling these gaps in the related literature. Using econometric analysis, we found that Puerto Rico’s government indebtedness is, to a large extent, connected to a sharp decrease in manufacturing employment (i.e. deindustrialization) suffered by this economy, and weak evidence that it was caused by an excessive government payroll or overgenerous federal programs. In light of our empirical results, we discussed how the consequences of deindustrialization ultimately led to increase government borrowing.

Suggested Citation

  • Caraballo-Cueto Jose & Lara Juan, 2017. "Deindustrialization and Unsustainable Debt in Middle-Income Countries: The Case of Puerto Rico," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-11, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:8:y:2018:i:2:p:11:n:1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How the Triple Tax Exemption on Puerto Rico’s Bonds Financed Its Territorial Status—and Helped Spark Its Debt Crisis
      by Evaluz Cotto-Quijano in Pro-Market on 2018-09-11 16:45:18

    More about this item


    Deindustrialization; external debt; Puerto Rico;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:globdv:v:8:y:2018:i:2:p:11:n:1. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.