Capitalist regulation and unequal integration: The case of Puerto Rico
This dissertation postulates that as effect of the model of development adopted by Puerto Rican authorities since the late forties, Puerto Rico became a "Regional Armature" of U.S. intensive accumulation and monopolist regulation over the 1950-1980 period. The asymmetrical insertion of the island into U.S. intensive accumulation circuits, is documented through an account of the shares of local manufacturing assets, value added and employment represented by U.S. corporations, as well as by an approximation to the industrial linkages between Puerto Rico and the United States. The linkage with U.S. monopolist regulation is presented through the historical account of the gradual partial extension to the island of mainland regulation institutions such as; collective bargaining practices, welfare programs, the Federal Reserve, the consumer credit network and the oligopolistic structures in the final goods market. The asymmetry of the island's integration into U.S. accumulation and regulation networks is marked by the location of only certain phases of U.S. manufacturing activity, much higher unemployment levels, lower wages and less per capita federal aid in Puerto Rico as compared to other economic regions of the United States. It is argued that the island's participation in mainland mass production activities and Keynesian mainland macro-economic policies to stimulate aggregate demand during the 1950-1973 growth period, led to economies of scale in the production of consumer durables and to increases in real and social wages making possible the local adoption of mainland mass consumption patterns. It is also argued that these consumption patterns were partially maintained during the 1974-1989 crisis period through the direct income enhancement effect and the indirect credit enhancement effect of U.S. food stamps and the credit multiplier effect of corporate CD's in local banks. Stability tests for the intercept of the consumption function for durable goods were performed to back up the latter hypothesis. Finally, the generalization of low wage, low productive Neo-taylorist service jobs among small pockets of higher wage jobs in manufacturing and services, is presented as evidence of Puerto Rico's insertion into the new extensive accumulation patterns prevalent in the United States.
0509: Economic history
0700: Social structure