The Role Of Housing In The Economic Development Of Puerto Rico, 1950 To 1970

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


International Studies


The hypothesis of this work is that the housing construction industry contributed significantly to the economic development of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico during the Operation Bootstrap years, 1950-1970. The hypothesis is shown to be valid.The dissertation details the effect of housing on employment and on gross fixed domestic investment during this time. In both of these areas there was a definite contribution made by the housing industry. Employment in construction rose over three hundred per cent in the score of years, from 25,000 to 76,000, and this employment served as a port of entry into the industrial job market for many of the rural farm workers. The related influx of U.S. mainland capital helped the gross domestic fixed investment rise from $111 million in 1950 to $349 million in 1970.The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was able to obtain its economic success because of several factors: (1) its unique governmental status permitted efficient access to mainland capital markets and federal programs; (2) the emigration of many Puerto Ricans to the mainland; and (3) her leaders had foresight to plan for the future and to attempt new ideas.Without this careful planning and coordination--including housing--the entire Bootstrap program would probably not have achieved its overall economic success.


Urban and Regional Planning

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