Is the Whole Greater than the Sum of its Parts? Strengthening Caribbean Regional Integration

Author/Editor:

Abdullah Al-Hassan ; Mary E. Burfisher ; Julian T Chow ; Ding Ding ; Fabio Di Vittorio ; Dmitriy Kovtun ; Arnold McIntyre ; Inci Ötker ; Marika Santoro ; Lulu Shui ; Karim Youssef

Publication Date:

January 17, 2020

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Deeper economic integration within the Caribbean has been a regional policy priority since the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the decision to create the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). Implementation of integration initiatives has, however, been slow, despite the stated commitment of political leaders. The “implementation deficit” has led to skepticism about completing the CSME and controversy regarding its benefits. This paper analyzes how Caribbean integration has evolved, discusses the obstacles to progress, and explores the potential benefits from greater integration. It argues that further economic integration through liberalization of trade and labor mobility can generate significant macroeconomic benefits, but slow progress in completing the institutional arrangements has hindered implementation of the essential components of the CSME and progress in economic integration. Advancing institutional integration through harmonization and rationalization of key institutions and processes can reduce the fixed costs of institutions, providing the needed scale and boost to regional integration. Greater cooperation in several functional policy areas where the region is facing common challenges can also provide low-hanging fruit, creating momentum toward full integration as the Community continues to address the obstacles to full economic integration.

Series:

Working Paper No. 20/8

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

January 17, 2020

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513525860/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2020008

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

79

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