In This Review

Handbook of Caribbean Economies
Handbook of Caribbean Economies
Edited by Robert E. Looney
Routledge, 2020, 504 pp.

In this erudite and informative volume, some of the Caribbean’s leading specialists provide a panoramic view of the region’s political economy. Their sophisticated analyses examine the obstacles and external influences with which Caribbean economies must contend. The contributors underscore the region’s deep crisis: the rocky transition from plantation economies based on sugar to economies based mostly on tourism. The EU’s decision to end preferential treatment of the Caribbean shook the region, but so have climate change, natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, and the manmade calamities of drug trafficking and organized crime. Haiti’s economy has been especially hard hit, Puerto Rico went bankrupt, and Cuba still hasn’t recovered from the breakup of the Soviet Union. Guyana, with its new offshore oil discoveries, and the Dominican Republic, with its creditable economic performance, shine brightly in an otherwise depressing regional tableau. The islands’ attempt to find their niche in the world economy remains a work in progress.