Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date

Winter 12-2022


Business, Jack C. Massey College of


Economics and Finance

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Colin Cannonier

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


When two people receive the same gift and person A initially had significantly less than person B, wouldn’t person A be able to utilize the gift more? Why then do immigrants from Haiti fare so poorly compared to those from the Dominican Republic when exposed to the economic freedom levels of the United States? Using data from the last 30 years, we will be using an OLS model to analyze the impact of economic freedom on the labor market outcomes of immigrants from Haiti compared to those from the Dominican Republic. In this OLS model, we will take into account age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, years spent in the US, and education to find the heterogeneity of how labor market outcomes are affected. Based on the difference in economic freedom between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, we conjecture that immigrants from the Dominican Republic (or the DR) have an easier time acclimating to the higher economic freedom of the U.S. and thus earn higher wages than Haitians as economic freedom increases. Seeing that the two countries share a land mass and are therefore almost geographically identical we can conclude that the Haitian government could adopt policies from the Dominican Republic to further their growth and follow the path paved by the DR to a brighter future. Does the extent of democracy and economic freedom in the immigrant's country of origin explain the differences in labor market outcomes of the people when they are in the United States? Although Haiti likely needs more help than the Dominican Republic, economic freedom without growth and development in their education systems and other infrastructure would only hinder the people rather than help them. The equivalent would be giving a homeless person a key without a house. For the Dominican Republic, however, exposure to higher economic freedom within the United States would be like helping them renovate their home.