Friday, August 29, 2014

Economic Transformation and Institutional Change in Cuba

Economic Transformation and Institutional Change in Cuba
By: Antonio F. Romero Gómez

Editor's note: This paper is currently only available in Spanish. The
English translation is forthcoming.

In Economic Transformation and Institutional Change in Cuba, Antonio
Romero, a Cuban academic at the University of Havana who specializes in
international economy, analyzes the economic and institutional changes
that have occurred in Cuba in recent years (2011-2014). He raises some
of the most important institutional challenges facing Cuban society
today and highlights what remains to be done in this respect in the
reform process.

Romero concludes that excessive gradualism in the rate of the reforms
could lead to further complication: it is almost imperative that reforms
be undertaken simultaneously in order to create conditions in which the
new forms of economic organization operate efficiently. Also, advancing
the reform process will necessarily involve an exercise of institutional
innovation. This should utilize the high educational level of the Cuban
population. Furthermore, the reduction of the state apparatus, the clear
delineation of business and government functions and the creation of a
network of heterogeneous firms promote a better institutional
environment that will facilitate economic growth through improved
conditions for microeconomic performance. Meanwhile, the relaunch of the
non-state sector and the consequent changes in the tax system create
prospects for a significant change in the relationship between the state
and citizens, but this will take time and in any case will depend on the
dimensions that actually reach the private and cooperative sectors.
Finally, Romero notes that an important and essential challenge is to
keep in mind the interlinkages between social policy and economic policy
to ensure sustainable growth.

This paper was prepared for a series of expert workshops on Cuban
economic change in comparative perspective organized by the Foreign
Policy Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution and the
University of Havana's Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy and the
Center for the Study of the International Economy. It was presented at
an experts' seminar in Havana, Cuba on September 26, 2013 and was
subsequently revised. The papers being prepared for this series will be
collected in an edited volume and published by Brookings in November 2014.


Source: Economic Transformation and Institutional Change in Cuba |
Brookings Institution -

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