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The Road Not Taken: Pre-Revolutionary Cuban Living Standards in Comparative Perspective

  • WARD, MARIANNE
  • DEVEREUX, JOHN
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    We examine Cuban GDP over time and across space. We find that Cuba was once a prosperous middle-income economy. On the eve of the revolution, incomes were 50 to 60 percent of European levels. They were among the highest in Latin America at about 30 percent of the United States. In relative terms, Cuba was richer earlier on. Income per capita during the 1920s was in striking distance of Western Europe and the Southern United States. After the revolution, Cuba slipped down the world income distribution. Current levels of income per capita appear below their pre-revolutionary peaks.

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    File URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0022050711002452
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    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

    Volume (Year): 72 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 01 (March)
    Pages: 104-132

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:72:y:2012:i:01:p:104-132_00
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    1. Kohli, Ulrich, 2004. "Real GDP, real domestic income, and terms-of-trade changes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 83-106, January.
    2. Angus Deaton & Alan Heston, 2010. "Understanding PPPs and PPP-Based National Accounts," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 1-35, October.
    3. Kyoji Fukao & Debin Ma & Tangjun Yuan, 2006. "Real GDP in Pre-War East Asia: A 1934-36 Benchmark Purchasing Power Parity Comparison with the U.S," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-132, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. M. d. MAR RUBIO & C�SAR Y��EZ & MAURICIO FOLCHI & ALBERT CARRERAS, 2010. "Energy as an indicator of modernization in Latin America, 1890-1925," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(3), pages 769-804, 08.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8973, April.
    6. Ward, Marianne & Devereux, John, 2003. "Measuring British Decline: Direct Versus Long-Span Income Measures," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(03), pages 826-851, September.
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