A Preliminary Network Analysis of Economic Liberalization in Cuba
MARIO A. RIVERA
IJED, Vol. 2 No. 1, (2000)
Cuba has found it necessary to put into effect market-oriented policies in addressing the severe economic crisis triggered by loss of Soviet support after 1989. The challenge for development theory is to delineate paths of complex causation among the institutional sources and effects of such market liberalization policies. New institutional economics and network economics suggest that politico-economic development may be traced to the formation of market coordination mechanisms, taken in this study to include entrepreneurial, managerial, and interorganizational networks.
Cuba’s market liberalization policies are tactical in nature, consistent with earlier, tentative experiments (which were largely led by the armed forces). Economic policy is conditioned by an overriding need for political security and control. The inconsistent exercise of central control constricts the possibility of autonomous formation of market coordination mechanisms such as networks and makes for the disarticulation of economic sectors, actors, and institutions. This study proposes a research agenda on economic networks as articulatory factors in economic development.