Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics

First Advisor

Robert G. Urquhart

Second Advisor

Thomas Nail

Third Advisor

Chiara Piovani

Fourth Advisor

Peter Ho


Caribbean, Jamaica, Plantation


Lloyd Best and Kari Polanyi Levitt created the Theory of the Plantation Economy as an analytical tool for understanding the causes of underdevelopment in the Caribbean region. The theory provides a break from the classical understanding of developing economies as simply pre-industrialized societies. Instead, the theory tracks uneven development through analysis of metropole-hinterland relations, which account for the legacy of slavery, colonialism, and mercantilism on the structure of the global economy. In doing so, Plantation Theory is able to draw a clear link between underdevelopment in the hinterland and development in the metropole. Examining the usefulness of the Theory of Plantation Economy when applied to the Jamaican economy allows this paper to provide a comprehensive picture of Jamaica’s economic history. A picture which examines the unique structural legacy left by mercantilism and the ‘plantation system’ on economic agents and institutions. This paper examines issues associated with dependent export-led economies. It also tracks the movement of global capital and the transformation of the economic enterprise through the lens of the Jamaica economy.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Paula-Leone Samuda


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

115 pgs


Economics, Economic history, Economic theory