Concessions as a Modernizing Strategy in the Dominican Republic

Posted: 29 Jan 2010

See all articles by Cyrus Veeser

Cyrus Veeser

Bentley University - Department of History

Date Written: 2009


In the late 1800s, Latin American modernizers faced major obstacles to economic growth. In the Dominican Republic, elites embraced concessions as a policy to attract foreign capital to infrastructure, industry, and cash-crop agriculture. In contrast to Mexico, where concessions were public and impersonal but failed to create viable firms, Dominican concessions were public, yet corrupt, formally opposed to monopoly, yet prone to convey exclusive privileges. Dominican modernizers recognized that concessions created “monopolies that are always a hateful tyranny,” yet found no better way to attract investment. Only after the United States took control of Dominican finances in 1905 were the “burdensome” contracts canceled as an “impediment to future progress.”

Keywords: Latin America, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Concessions, Corruption, Monopolies, Foreign Investment

JEL Classification: D42, D43, E62, F21, N26, N46, N86, O54

Suggested Citation

Veeser, Cyrus, Concessions as a Modernizing Strategy in the Dominican Republic (2009). Business History Review, Vol. 83, No. 4, pp. 731-758, Winter 2009, Available at SSRN:

Cyrus Veeser (Contact Author)

Bentley University - Department of History ( email )

175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452-4705
United States
781 891-2827 (Phone)

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