HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 23, 2010 ? Dr. Michael McCully, associate professor of economics at High Point University, and Dr. Hayden Carron, assistant professor of Spanish at HPU, presented a paper at the ?Historical Roots of Social Inequality in Latin America? conference, held at the University of London in June.
The paper, “Cash Crops and Inequality in the Dominican Republic,” looked at the historical differences between the northern and southern economies of the Dominican Republic, explains McCully. The northern economy was based on tobacco exports. It had more equal incomes because it presented more economic opportunities for the average person.
The southern economy was based on sugar exports. It was very unequal, mainly benefitting the owners of the sugarcane plantations. In the political struggle between the southern and northern parts of the island, the unequal south won ? which helps explain why the Republic is still very unequal today.
“This research, and the opportunity to talk with our colleagues, improved our understanding of Latin American inequality,” McCully says. “It will improve our classes and our future research.”
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