Last month, FCRH Class of 2015 graduate David Buchanan presented his undergraduate Economics thesis at the 68th Annual New York State Economics Association (NYSEA) Conference. His paper “The Fallen Fruit: Evaluating Structural Adjustment and the Jamaican Banana Industry” was one of eight undergraduate submissions to be accepted for presentation on October 10, 2015 at Siena College.
David’s research focuses on the structural adjustment program implemented in Jamaica by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank during the nation’s tumultuous economic period of the 1980s. He utilizes both policy and trend regression analyses to evaluate the impact of the structural adjustment program on Jamaica’s banana industry.
The banana, formerly one of Jamaica’s most important export commodities accounting for nearly twenty-five percent of the island’s export trade, is now no longer one of their top twenty agricultural exports. Most scholarship on Jamaica’s agricultural industry pinpoints the end of preferential trade agreements as the ultimate downfall of the banana, but David believes that these studies neglect to examine the full effect of structural adjustment and this gap in the literature became the impetus of his research.
Throughout his senior year, Associate Professor Sophie Mitra guided David’s work and encouraged him to submit his paper to the NYSEA. Based on the feedback David received from his discussant at the conference, he intends to continue working on the paper with Professor Mitra in pursuit of publication. Congratulations to David Buchanan and Sophie Mitra on this achievement!