Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiti and the Dominican Republic: Jared Diamond’s Explanation

Haiti and the Dominican Republic may share one island but their histories unfolded quite differently. According to the Jared Diamond's analysis in his book Collapse, environmental differences did contribute to the different economic trajectories of the two countries.

Moreover, France was able to invest in developing intensive slave-based plantation agriculture in Haiti, which the Spanish could not or chose not to develop in their side of the island. Hence Haiti had a population seven times higher than its neighbor during colonial times, which, combined to a lower rainfall, was a main factor behind the rapid deforestation and loss of soil fertility.

And these conditions also explain in part the lower attraction of Haiti on European qualified immigrants and investors than was the Dominican Republic.

Read the article in The Globalist.

Hat tip to Mark Toma

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