Local Food, Agriculture, and Tourism in the Dominican Republic

30 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2020

See all articles by Carrie A. Meyer

Carrie A. Meyer

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 19, 2020


The paper examines local food and food production in the Dominican Republic and how local agriculture intersects with the tourism and restaurant sectors. It argues that not only has tourism created a demand for local produce, and thus provided jobs and income for Dominicans far removed from the fabled beaches of Punta Cana; but local production of food, especially fruits and vegetables, has helped put the Dominican Republic on top as the most popular destination among the island nations of the Caribbean. The primary contribution of the paper is an empirical analysis of agricultural production and consumption using data from the Food and Agriculture Organization since 1961. The paper is historical as well as empirical. It first discusses the antecedents of the Dominican diet and the historical roots of the foods Dominicans produce and eat. It also traces the struggle, over the last 150 years, of forces that pushed toward export agriculture and others that pushed toward food self-sufficiency. The paper wraps up with a more focused discussion of the mutual benefits provided by agriculture, local food, and tourism in the Dominican Republic.

Keywords: Dominican Republic, Tourism, Local Food, Agriculture, Gastronomy

JEL Classification: N56, O54, Q18, Z32

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Carrie A., Local Food, Agriculture, and Tourism in the Dominican Republic (June 19, 2020). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 20-21, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3630734 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3630734

Carrie A. Meyer (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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