... is highly recommended to all (who can afford it--the island is frightfully expensive). The economic success of the island immediately raises the question of why economic performance in the Caribbean has been so uneven--ranging all the way from the disaster that is Haiti (the earliest country to gain its independence, by the way) to the achievements of Barbados. Eric Williams' fascinating history of the region is a must-read. Williams himself is a fascinating man, having acted as the long-term prime minister of Trinidad and Tobabo as well as being a distinguished historian (and the originator of the thesis that the Industrial Revolution was spawned by the riches earned through the colonial trade). A few recent papers (see this and this) scratch the surface in terms of explaining the differences (the bequest of history and domestic policy choices made at home both make a huge difference), but there is much, much more to be done.
This is the first time I gave a talk preceded by the playing of national anthems. Here is the powerpoint of my presentation: it is what my One Economics, Many Recipes book would look like if I were to write it today.