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

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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.

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  • 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
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    Keywords

    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

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