IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Cuba's Economic 'Reforms': Waiting for Fidel on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century




In this paper we provide a brief summary and evaluation of the main economic changes or 'reforms' undertaken by the Cuban government during the 1990's. The thrust of our argument is that the regime does not seem to be interested in reforms that lead to a transition to a market economy or even in the more limited goal of introducing widespread market mechanisms subservient to the needs of the communist party as in China. Instead, their policies seem directed at generating mechanisms for the appropriation of foreign exchange by members of the nomenclature while keeping most citizens deprived of independent access to wealth creation activities. We develop our argument by looking separately at 'reforms' in two type of markets: those in which transactions are self-enforcing and those which depend on the contract enforcement mechanisms or services usually associated with market augmenting government to enforce transactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger R. Betancourt, 1999. "Cuba's Economic 'Reforms': Waiting for Fidel on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century," Electronic Working Papers 99-008, University of Maryland, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:umd:umdeco:99-008

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Cuba; Reforms; Transition; Markets; Self-enforcing Transactions; Market Augmenting Government;

    JEL classification:

    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights


    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:umd:umdeco:99-008. 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 Murrell). 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.