Friday, March 29, 2013

Economics roundup

  • IPS: Cuban computer science graduates have a hard time finding meaningful jobs in their field.  I wonder how many will propose starting their own operations under the new law that allows private cooperatives to be formed in sectors other than agriculture.

  • EFE: Echoing other officials’ statements, Vice President Diaz-Canel says the hard part of the reforms is yet to come.  He described the purpose of the reforms as eliminating the “prohibitions that have held back productive forces.”  More here from Nick Miroff.

  • Café Fuerte: Etecsa once again reduces the initiation fee for cell phone accounts, to 30 CUC.  Before the cuts began in 2008, it was 120 CUC.

  • Reuters: Venezuelan opposition leader Capriles would end subsidies to Cuba.

  • CubaEncuentro: Economist Carmelo Mesa-Lago looks at the opaque Cuba-Venezuela economic relationship and concludes that if it is curtailed or ended, the blow to Cuba would be “powerful” but not as severe as the loss of Soviet-bloc support and trade two decades ago.

  • Reuters: Following last year’s deal on commercial debt with Japan, Cuba struck a deal with Russia over the island’s Soviet-era debt.

  • The average income in Cuba is $20 per month…that’s a constantly cited statistic that accurately describes the average state salary.  But it doesn’t describe reality.  Many who work in the state have other sources of household income, and many (in hard currency-producing industries and in joint ventures) have higher incomes.  Increasing numbers of Cubans, in agriculture and small enterprise, don’t work for the state at all.  AFP examines the impact of this income on consumption.

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