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Inequality in a Post-Colonial Society: Trinidad and Tobago 1956-1981


Jack Harewood , Ralph Henry


The present monograph is a partial revision and expansion of a paper completed in 1982 by the two authors on Income Distribution in Trinidad and Tobago over the period 1960-1980. The revision has allowed us the opportunity to tighten the analysis. It has also afforded us the opportunity of including the earlier years of self-government and of reviewing a quarter century, albeit partially, of the approach of one governing party to the problems of Income Distribution in a Third World peripheral state.

We have benefited from comments of a number of persons. The fact that we have persisted in spite of protestations of some commentators attest to our obstinacy in part, but also to our recognition that the data can be subjected to a number of interpretations. Thus, our work should invite or rather incite detailed responses and rejoinders on what a supremely exciting area of analysis which will be topical for many years to come as the Trinidad - Tobago economy is transformed.

At the very least the lacuna of our present effort is sure to prompt others to undertake more exacting analyses using superior techniques and additional data either unavailable to us or which we never took the trouble to research. At least one such study is already forthcoming from P. Watson. We could instance additional work needed on income tax which should be a fruitful area for examination, cross-sectionally and longitudinally, in the case of Trinidad -Tobago. The complaints at all levels of the society about the existing tax structure suggest that such work would have even more immediate implications. Our limited effort would have served its purpose if others now feel inclined to focus their analytical insights and tools on this area of study.







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