Discussion Paper

U.S. Virgin Islands Struggle while Puerto Rico Rebounds


Abstract: Two years after hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the two territories? economies have moved in very different directions. When the hurricanes struck, both were already in long economic slumps and had significant fiscal problems. As of the summer of 2019, however, Puerto Rico?s economy was showing considerable signs of improvement since the hurricanes, while the Virgin Islands? economy remained mired in a deep slump through the end of 2018, though signs of a nascent recovery have emerged in 2019. In this post, we assess the contrasting trends of these two economies since the hurricanes and attempt to explain the forces driving these trends.

Keywords: hurricane; employment; Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands;

JEL Classification: R1;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Liberty Street Economics

Publication Date: 2019-10-02

Number: 20191002