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Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy

The Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE) is a non-profit non-political organization incorporated in Maryland in 1990. Its mission is to study the elements and processes of a transition to a market democracy in Cuba and to promote consonant scholarship, research, and publications by its members. More »


ASCE's Twenty Fourth Annual Meeting:
"Cuba's Perplexing Changes"

July 31-August 2, 2014
The Miami Hilton Downtown Hotel
1601 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida 33132

The three-day conference, around the theme "Cuba's Perplexing Changes," will focus on internal reforms and their impact on the Cuban economy, as well as on the island's international economic reorientation with emphasis on the Port of Mariel. The conference will also include a plenary session on Cuban economic and political trends as well as sessions on social, legal, and sectoral issues related to the economy and a student panel.

We also hope to have again a strong presence of scholars and intellectuals from the island. A well known scholar from Cuba will be the Ernesto Betancourt Keynote Address Speaker.

Program: click here »

Press Release: click here »


ASCE Conference Session at the American Economic Association 2014 Annual Meetings on the Cuban Economy New!

Jan, 2014
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Roger Betancourt presented an update of his paper on the embargo that is in the Papers & Proceedings for the XXIII ASCE meeting on our ASCE webpage. Bryan Roberts provided an extended discussion, relying on a variety of surveys since 1991 polling Americans in general and Cuban Americans on their attitudes towards the embargo. While the surveys were consistent with Betancourt´s discussion of the evolution of the embargo, Roberts came to the conclusion that it was unlikely to get lifted because it would not be in the narrow self-interest of US politicians to do so. Luis Locay re-enforced his conclusion relying on game theoretic arguments that suggested that neither party (Cuba or the US) really wanted a lifting of the embargo, especially from the perspective of a zero sum game. Someone in the audience suggested that the part that was already lifted in terms of person flows could in principle be tightened and another audience participant noted that the arguments against lifting ignored the damage done to the US in the rest of the world, especially LA, by the continuation of the embargo.


ASCE's Twenty Third Annual Meeting: "Reforming Cuba?" Recent!

August 1–3, 2013
The Hilton Miami Downtown Hotel
Miami, Florida 33132

We had a record number of conference attendees from the island itself this year. George J. Borjas, Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government gave the Ernesto Betancourt Keynote Address at our annual conference on August 1–3, 2013. Professor Borjas' work on labor economics and on the economic impact of immigration provoked an enlightening discussion among conference attendees. Professor Borjas' participation at our gathering this year was particularly timely as Cuba and its diaspora study the impact of the migration law that recent took effect and as the US considers enacting its own immigration reform.

For the program, click here »

For the detailed proceedings of the annual meeting, click here » NEW!

To see the video of ASCE President Ted Henken opening remarks, please click here »

To see the video of Prof. Borjas' keynote address, please click here »

To watch the 2013 ASCE Conference videos on YouTube, click here »


Student papers presented at ASCE's Twenty Third Annual Meeting Recent!

  • Margarita Giraldo and Seth Marini, University of Miami, "Biohydrogen as an Alternative Energy Source for Cuba". To see the video of the presentation, please click here »
  • Daniel Pedreira, George Mason University, "Cuba's Prospects for a Military Oligarchy". To see the video of the presentation, please click here »
  • Roberto Armengol, University of Virginia, "Competitive Solidarity and the Political Economy of Invento". To see the video of the presentation, please click here »
  • Jared M. Genova, University of Texas "¡Hasta la utopía siempre! Conflicting utopian ideologies in Havana's late socialist housing market". To see the videos of the presentation (parts1 and 2), please click here »
  • Emily Snyder, University of Florida, "The Fist of Lázaro is the Fist of his Generation. Lázaro Saavedra and New Cuban Art as Dissidence". To see the video of the presentation, please click here »

Congratulations to the Winners of ASCE's 2013 Student Prize, for details click here »

  • The joint paper "Aquaponics as a Valuable Addition to Cuba's Organoponic Infrastructure" submitted by Damian Garcia-Sarraff, Jhon Cores, Eric Bulnes and Julian Rey, won the first undergraduate prize and was not included in the proceedings for 2013. To access the paper please click here »
  • Also see Roberto M. Gonzalez, Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, "Infant Mortality in Cuba: Myth and Reality". To access his power point presentation please click here »

Internet, Social Media, and Cuban Society Today Recent!

ASCE recently partnered once again with NYU to co-host the four young Cuban academics Armando Chaguaceda, Elaine Díaz, Yasmín Portales, and Yudivián Almeida for a panel hosted by ASCE President Ted Henken on "Internet, Social Media, and Cuban Society Today." The panel took place on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at noon at the King Juan Carlos Center (53 Waverly Place on Washington Square Park) at NYU, and was followed by a lively discussion and reception hosted by NYU's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. ASCE would especially like to thank CLACS director Jill Lane and Sisa Holguín for their help in coordinating the event


ASCE's Ninth Carlos Díaz-Alejandro Lecture Recent!

Princeton University scholar Alejandro Portes delivered ASCE's prestigious ninth Carlos Díaz-Alejandro Lecture in New York City on Monday, May 6. The lecture on "Latin American Institutions and Development: A Comparative Analysis" was very successful and well attended. at the New School University. Professor Portes discussed the key role of governmental and other institutions in Cuba and elsewhere in Latin America and their indispensable role in economic, political, and social development. This year's lecture was particularly timely given recent changes to Cuba's migration legislation, the rising electoral importance of Latinos in the United States, and demographic changes in the Cuban-American community, all subjects which Portes has addressed before. See below for more information on his lecture.


ASCE Briefs Recent!

In 2013 ASCE decided to launch its very own blog, a project headed up by Luis Luis and Ernesto Hernández-Catá. The blog is hosted on our ASCE website and features economic analysis by a revolving cadre of ASCE members. Be sure to visit and leave your comments at ascecuba.com/blog click here » Comments are now enabled in the blog and can be entered at the end of each post.


ASCE in the News


ASCE cosponsored the New School-NYU symposium
on "The Revolution Recodified" that included
both Yoani Sánchez and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo,
March 15–17, 2013

ASCE cosponsored the US visits of Cuban bloggers and cyber-activists Yoani Sánchez and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo. ASCE recognizes the generous financial assistance of the Cuba Study Group in allowing ASCE to act as host and co-sponsor of these historic visits. While Sánchez was able participate in our annual conference last August via telephone from Havana, she made her first trip to the United States in March. ASCE was front-and-center as a cosponsor of "The Revolution Recodified: Social Media and the Public Sphere in Cuba," a three-day symposium held at New York University and the New School in Manhattan from March 15-17. ASCE also co-sponsored a second event, "Cuba and the Digital Revolution", that also featured Sánchez and Pardo Lazo on March 20 at Georgetown University with the help of Eusebio Mujal-León, Georgetown's Department of Government, and a number of student groups whom ASCE hope to tap into as our future members. The Georgetown event was followed by a reception for Sánchez and Pardo Lazo hosted by ASCE member and our former first president Roger Betancourt. ASCE board member María Werlau also organized a visit for Sánchez to the United Nations on March 21, where she spoke to a gathering of international journalists all members of the United Nations Correspondents' Association. A number of ASCE members were also present at the various public events held with Sánchez upon her historic visit to Miami in April 1–4. Indeed, our president Ted Henken worked with the dynamic group of young people who make up Raíces de Esperanza (Roots of Hope) to pull off the hour-long "Tweet-Up" held on April 3 at downtown Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information on "The Revolution Recodified", please click here »


ASCE cosponsored talk by Prof. Carmelo Mesa-Lago
"Cuba under Raul Castro: Economic and Social Reforms and their Effects"
at Miami Dade College (MDC) on Feb. 12, 2013

To see the video of the event, please click here »

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