Colonial legacies and the labour market in the English-speaking Caribbean

This research investigates the extent to which colonial legacies continue to shape the labour market in the English-speaking Caribbean, using both historical and economic methodologies.
Project status

The proposed research aims to explore how colonial legacies continue to shape the labour market in the Caribbean. The project combines historical and economic analysis to link the past to the present. The research will first unpack how British governance during the colonial period (1800-1960) shaped:

  1. the structure of the economy
  2. Relationships between different groups
  3. Aspirations of the people – factors important to the labour market.

These three factors will be explored in the post-independence period to present day, teasing out patterns of continuation versus divergence. The third component of the project will be forwardlooking, exploring aspirations of young Caribbean people.

The focus will be on Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Current academic and policy discourse have shone a light on the decolonisation agenda. This project will inform these debates by providing evidence on how long-standing colonial institutions may still influence present day society.

Principal Investigator: Dr Jamelia Harris, University of Warwick

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