Jamaica has never fully recovered from the 2nd oil crisis and other pieces of bad luck in the late 1970s. It is now in it’s 4th year of the latest IMF-led restructuring program. A December mission offered an optimistic prognosis, noting unemployment is at an 8-year low. The most recent full Article IV review (the IMF does one for all member countries) is from June 2016. It includes a wealth of information. Here you can see recent macroeconomic importance, and a summary of what (in the short term) drives the economy. But there’s other analysis. A recent working paper looks at the impact of migration, the loss of human capital and the benefit of remittances. But there’s also crime, another paper. Both migration and crime, of course, reflect interactions with the US, as that’s where most people go, and that’s where the drugs go.
Is Jamaica representative of the Caribbean? What of small countries with similar ties to Europe, such as Tunisia or Morocco or Serbia? We also have Mexico, which is qualitatively different in scope and the range and complexity of global links. In Europe, there’s Turkey. How important are remittances? Brain drain?
Trade ties? Interactions, social and political, that may interfere with economic development?