Labor in the Puerto Rican Economy: Postwar Development and Stagnation

By Carlos E. Santiago | Go to book overview

Preface

This study is concerned with economic efficiency. In particular, it focuses on efficiency in the use of human resources in the course of industrialization. Human resources are a nation's most precious asset. They have the unique quality of being both source and recipient of wealth. Individuals imagine, create, develop, organize, and produce goods and services. In society, they establish the rules and institutions that distribute the fruits of their efforts.

Economic efficiency is an important element, but not the only element, that characterizes economic development. Equity considerations are also of significance. True economic development encompasses much more than economic growth. It includes institutional changes that result in a marked improvement in the welfare of the poor. The notion that economic growth is a necessary but not sufficient condition for economic development is subscribed to here. The extent of a country's economic development needs be evaluated along these lines. Economic development is as much a process as it is a consequence of change.

I am strongly committed to the belief that economic development needs to be considered in a very broad context. Having said this, I proceed to warn the reader that this study intends to examine a particular aspect of the development process--efficient use of human resources. This is not to say that larger social and historical processes are unimportant, but rather that understanding development often requires the drawing together, in an interdisciplinary way, information from diverse fields and methodologies. It is my hope that this work will serve as a piece of a broader picture and help us better understand the process of economic development, eventually providing practical solutions to the pressing economic

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