Structural Change and Growth in Central America and the Dominican Republic

An Overview of Two Decades, 1990-2011

image of Structural Change and Growth in Central America and the Dominican Republic

This publication looks at changes that have occurred with the production structure, trade and society in Central America and the Dominican Republic, and how they have influenced the countries’ growth trajectories. One of the conclusions it reaches is that the subregion overall has enjoyed faster economic growth than the rest of Latin America over the two decades examined, 1990-2011, which has helped to raise incomes and living standards. Yet this progress falls far short of what is needed, given the high levels of poverty and indigence and the glaring inequalities suffered by much of the population in Central America and the Dominican Republic.

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Labour markets, inequality and poverty

The previous chapter examined the broad trends and cyclical fluctuations that have characterized the subregion’s macroeconomic performance. This analysis will now be supplemented by a review of the evolution of the main labour market indicators and their relationship to inequality and poverty. The emphasis will be on the comparative analysis of both the demographic evolution of the subregion’s countries and their performance in terms of jobs, wages and labour productivity. The starting point for this analysis is the belief that the evolution of the labour market, and particularly its success in creating decent, well-paid jobs with social protection, is a core element in the growth dynamic of the region as it pursues robust development with equality.

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