Arrested Development? Puerto Rico in an American Century

  title={Arrested Development? Puerto Rico in an American Century},
  author={John C. Devereux},
  journal={The Journal of Economic History},
  • J. Devereux
  • Published 24 June 2019
  • Economics
  • The Journal of Economic History
Puerto Rico became an American colony in 1898, achieving self-rule after the Great Depression. The standard view is that Puerto Rican living standards stagnated before the policy changes of the New Deal and it has lost ground on the mainland since the early 1970s. I show these claims are mistaken. Using a new GDP index for 1900 to 1940, I show that income per capita grew at impressive rates during direct American rule and Puerto Rico escaped the worst ravages of the Great Depression. In… 

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