Caribbean Quarterly Economic Bulletin: Volume 10: Issue 3, January 2022: Digital Infrastructure and Development in the Caribbean

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Jan 2022
This edition reviews the long-term performance of economic growth and productivity in the region. It then draws on research from the Inter-American Development Banks Connectivity, Markets, and Finance Division that estimates how much investment in digital infrastructure is needed for countries across Latin America and the Caribbean to reach the levels of advanced economies. This research also estimates both the potential economic benefits associated with that investment and its costs, highlighting the potentially large multipliers associated with closing digital infrastructure gaps. The highlights of the analysis are as follows. It is estimated that closing the digital access gap between Caribbean economies and members countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) could potentially increase the regions GDP by about 6 to 12 percent over the medium term, depending on the country. These gains are multiples of the estimated costs, ranging from about 2 times to nearly 50 times those estimated costs. Productivity gains represent about 80 percent of the estimated improvements in GDP. As is typical with the Caribbean Quarterly Bulletin, the Regional Overview is followed by country sections that provide more detailed analysis for each of the countries covered.