The Cuban Economy

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Sheraton Grand Chicago, Jackson Park
Hosted By: Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy
  • Chair: Carlos Seiglie, Rutgers University-Newark

United States-Cuba Migration Policy: A Political Economy View

Roger R. Betancourt
University of Maryland


In this paper I bring out interactions between four factors that could lead to a change in US migration policy towards Cuba, regardless of the presidential election outcome. These factors are 1) Cuba’s reform of its migration laws in January of 2013 (CMR); 2) Abuses of the US welfare system by Cubans admitted as refugees under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) highlighted by the Sun-Sentinel in 2015; 3) Obama’s normalization policy (NP) announced December 17 of 2014; and 4) Cuba’s current migration crisis (CMC). These four factors and their interactions are shown to imply potential changes in either the CAA and/or the Migration Accord. A conclusion evaluates the possibilities from a political economy perspective in light of recent insights on the economics of migration.

Why Did the Cuban Infant Mortality Rate Rise During the First Decade of the Revolution?

Luis Locay
University of Miami


From the 1950s to the 1960s Cuba's infant mortality rate (IMR) rose from 35.8 to 38.5 death per 1,000 live births, for an increase of nearly 8%. This occurred, moreover, against a backdrop of falling IMRs - often sharply - throughout the Americas between these two decades. Unusual for the region and the times, the Revolution also coincided with a sharp rise in fertility. And the age group whose fertility rose most dramatically was that of women aged 15-19. The teenage fertility rate rose more than 50% between the latter half of the 1950s and the first half of the 1960s. It continued to increase through the first half of the 1970s, at which point it stood at 84% higher than the rate in 1955-60. It was not until the 1990s that it returned to 1950s levels. Contrast this with the fertility rate of women 25-29. Between 1955-60 and 1960-65, their fertility rate rose only 20%. By 1970-75 it was 16% below its 1950-55 level. Since teenage women tend to have higher IMRs, this paper explores to what extent the increase in Cuba's IMR during the first decade of the Revolution can be accounted for by the shift of fertility toward younger women.
John Devereux
City University of New York-Queens College
JEL Classifications
  • P0 - General