Report: Puerto Rico’s economic history and policy recommendations for today

Scanning the headlines, one can find a number of scathing reviews on Puerto Rico’s economy.  Although it may be easy to point out its flaws, many fail to realize the […]

Scanning the headlines, one can find a number of scathing reviews on Puerto Rico’s economy.  Although it may be easy to point out its flaws, many fail to realize the historical reasons for its current economic status, or the potential policy shifts which can turn it around.

That’s why I wrote the report entitled Puerto Rico’s Economy: A brief history of reforms from the 1980s to today and policy recommendations for the future, which was released by my organization on March 18th and can be downloaded at the following link:  http://nprchamber.org/2015-report-on-puerto-rico-economy/

Washington, D.C., March 18, 2015 – The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce (NPRChamber) today released its report on Puerto Rico’s economy, which discusses its currently distressed economic status, as well as some of the historical factors that have led to its current state.

Entitled “Puerto Rico’s Economy: A brief history of reforms from the 1980s to today and policy recommendations for the future,” the report further describes some of the structural reforms that have taken place over the last several decades, and concludes with a discussion of policy alternatives that should be considered for the present economy and into the future.

“Over the last decade, Puerto Rico has undergone a number of policy shifts that have impacted its economy.  But these changes have been but a brief moment in the context of what really led to Puerto Rico’s current economy,” said Executive Director Justin Vélez-Hagan.  “Only through hindsight can we begin to understand what has led to the economic environment of Puerto Rico today, and what changes might be better suited to long-term prosperity.”

Puerto Rico’s economy has been stagnating or contracting for nearly a decade, while unemployment remains more than double that of the rest of the U.S., leading to migration from the island at a rate higher than in any state in the country.

In addition, total debt has reached levels that many critics and economists now consider to be unsustainable, leading its legislators to recently ask the Federal Government for bankruptcy protections not currently afforded the municipality, as well as to push for Congressional action to permanently change Puerto Rico’s status from that of an American territory, objectives that will have nationwide ramifications.

The report can be downloaded at NPRChamber.org or can be forwarded upon request via Info@NPRChamber.org.

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