Democracy: A Key to Development in Costa Rica?

Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


In 1981 Costa Rica was the first Latin American country to suspend its foreign debt servicing.1 While many of the issues that caused concern during the 1980s are no longer relevant, the debt crisis continues to affect the macroeconomic situation of many Third World countries. In 1991 there was considerable concern when the Costa Rica UNDP Index for Human Development (IHD) dropped two places from 42. Although six western hemisphere countries were ranked above Costa Rica — Canada, USA, Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Chile — countries such as Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Qatar and Cuba were all ranked lower. In 1989, Costa Ricans enjoyed a life expectancy of 74.9 years, a literacy rate of 92.8 per cent and an annual per capita income of US$1780.


Gross Domestic Product Unit Root Capita Income Purchase Power Parity Gross Domestic Product Growth 
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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Costa RicaCosta Rica
  2. 2.Centre for Studies in Social SciencesCalcuttaIndia

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