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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Puerto Rican Industrial Policy Debate of 1940-1947: The Limits of Dependent Colonial Growth


The rapid development of the Puerto Rican economy following the Second World War provides a unique model of central planning within a dependent colonial economy. This project will present a brief overview of the conflicting socio-economic and political forces which initiated and guided the establishment of central planning in Puerto Rico during the period 1940-47. The goal of this presentation is to trace the interactions between the key actors and institutions, in the political and socio-economic environment of 1940-47, which led to a policy re-orientation of central planning in 1 94 7. This re-orientation defined Puerto Rican economic development not as an autonomous agricultural and industrial program based on both domestic and foreign capital, but instead, economic development was viewed as a massive industrialization program based solely on private foreign capital.

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