Ricardo Torres Perez (University of Havana): Phasing out traditional central planning and initial distortions. The case of Cuba
There is very little reference to the Cuban case in the transition literature. When it does appear, it is in a rather stereotyped fashion. Most authors assume that Cuba will eventually follow the fate of its Eastern European peers or even its Asian allies, China and Vietnam. A debate exists so as to the nature of the Cuban economic crisis and the subsequent model that has emerged from the early nineties. By all standards, the recession was short, lasting until 1994. However, output only returned to pre-crisis levels in 2004, putting Cuba as one of the worst performers within transition economies. Raul Castro’s government advanced a new round of reforms after 2011 but they have encountered significant difficulties and the economy remains stagnant. This paper aims at assessing how distorted the Cuban economy remains after 30 years of losing its connection with countries in Eastern Europe.
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