This book explores the changes that have occurred as regards the production structure, trade and society in Central America and the Dominican Republic, and how these have influenced the countries’ growth trajectories. One of the conclusions it reaches is that the subregion overall has enjoyed faster economic growth than the rest of Latin America over the two decades examined, which has helped to raise people’s incomes and living standards. Yet this progress falls far short of what is needed, given the high levels of poverty and indigence and the glaring inequalities suffered by much of the population in Central America and the Dominican Republic.
If the subregion is to attain higher levels of development with equality, one of the challenges it must tackle urgently is to adopt a strategy for changing its production structures and forging ahead with subregional integration, in order to correct productivity lags and income gaps. Another piece of unfinished business is to broaden the scope of action of fiscal and monetary policy, with a view to raising public investment, deploying countercyclical policies and developing greater resilience to external shocks.