Structural adjustment and labor in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic

Orville Winthorp Taylor, Florida International University


Statement of the problem. It seeks to examine whether structural adjustment in Jamaica produced the desired developmental effects for labor--both organized and non-unionized--and if there is any significant difference in the Dominican Republic, which did not undergo that economic transformation. The research hypothesis is; "Structural Adjustment leads to Marginalization of labor." Methodology used. The methodology is mostly a straight cross-sectional analysis using data sets and publications from the UN, ILO, World Bank and IDB, as well as local statistical sources. The dissertation is primarily an historical to contemporary analysis of the Jamaican experience under structural adjustment, as it related to labor. To a greater extent it involves a straight cross-national comparison on the historical experiences of each country and a discussion of the relative similarities and differences between them, and the impact these features had on labor. Summary of findings. In the end, the question is asked as to whether internal factors are important in the relative success or failure of development strategies. From the data there is some indication that under structural adjustment there has been limited economic benefits for labor in Jamaica while labor standards have not improved. In the Dominican Republic the economic performance has been similar but the labor standards have improved significantly. This thus leads to the conclusion that structural adjustment may have been a factor in the resistance to labor's empowerment. Nevertheless, the study also shows that there may have been a causal role which local power relations had. The suggestion from the study is that in analyzing the phenomenon, attention must be paid to internal as well as external dynamics and variables.

Subject Area

Social structure|Labor relations|Labor economics

Recommended Citation

Taylor, Orville Winthorp, "Structural adjustment and labor in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic" (1998). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9835708.