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Divided Neighbors on an Indivisible Island: Economic Disparity and Cumulative Causation on Hispaniola


  • Cecilia Ann Winters
  • Robert Derrell


This paper utilizes both narrative analysis and statistical techniques in an investigation of the principle of cumulative causation to explain underdevelopment, relative poverty and spatial disparities on Hispaniola. The events that explain this process in the underdevelopment of Hispaniola have resulted in a tragically downward spiral in Haiti, placing its future in great peril. The Dominican Republic is relatively better off than its neighbor; however, the shortage of basic services, poverty and malnutrition are quite prevalent in the Dominican Republic. That the latter is comparatively more prosperous than the former is due to the circular interdependence of both economic and non-economic factors; the influence of resource allocation choices, unique historical, political and cultural conditions, as well as foreign influences and the place Hispaniola has occupied in the larger global context.

Suggested Citation

  • Cecilia Ann Winters & Robert Derrell, 2010. "Divided Neighbors on an Indivisible Island: Economic Disparity and Cumulative Causation on Hispaniola," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 597-613.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:44:y:2010:i:3:p:597-613
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624440302

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