What is it about?

This article discusses the role of premium cigars in Cuba's trade economy, and the problems Cuba has faced in dealing with a changing global market. While Cuban cigars retain their premium status, other rival producers have arisen in the Caribbean.

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Why is it important?

Cigars are a major source of foreign exchange for Cuba, but their production is restrained by central planning, market inefficiencies, increased competition, and restrictions on smoking around the world.

Perspectives

Finding reliable information on Cuban cigar production is challenging because the Cuban government guards its cigar sector like the family jewels. Central planning has led to major production constraints, black markets and corruption. Modernization would help, but is constrained by Cuba's revolutionary attitude towards market incentives.

Professor Kent A Jones
Babson College

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This page is a summary of: Cuba, the centrally planned cigar, and its rivals, World Economy, July 2019, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/twec.12841.
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