Dennis Pantin

Dennis Pantin

Caribbean economist who specialized in environmental issues and sustainable development in the Caribbean islands.

Dennis A. Pantin was born on July 20, 1948, in Trinidad and Tobago. He was a professor at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, where he served as director of the Economics Department and was founder and coordinator of the Sustainable Economic Development Unit (SEDU) at the institution. In 1999, he published a work on sustainable development in the Natural Resources Forum. The work was titled “The Challenge of Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States: Case Study on Tourism in the Caribbean.” In this work, Pantin advanced the idea that developing economies of small islands had the potential to establish models of sustainable economic development for the rest of the world.

In the 1990s, Pantin focused his research on Caribbean youths, particularly unemployment. In 1996, Pantin published “The Challenge of Youth Employment in the Caribbean: The Role of Youth Employment Training Program” and, in 1999, “Revisiting the Challenge of Youth Employment: case studies of Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.” Both works were commissioned by the Caribbean Office of the International Labor Organization. In these two works, Pantin showed how the problems of unemployment and underemployment mainly affected young people. Comparing data from seven Caribbean countries (Belize, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados), Pantin showed unemployment rates among those between the ages of 15 and 29 that ranged from 52% in Barbados to 84% in Jamaica. His work also included an evaluation of programs designed to reduce unemployment and underemployment among youths and made recommendations.

But perhaps his most important contribution to studies of the Caribbean economy was his work as editor of the book A Caribbean Economy: A Reader, published in 2005. It is a compendium of 744 pages of essential reading for anyone interested in the Caribbean economy, including essays that address various issues of Caribbean economies from integrated, exhaustive and holistic perspectives.

Beyond his academic life, Pantin was very active in public life in Trinidad and Tobago and in the Caribbean in general. He was director of the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) in Trinidad and Tobago and director of the Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators. He served as a consultant to various organizations including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the British Department for International Development (DFID), the USAID, the Organization of American States and CARICOM.

Pantin died of cancer on July 13, 2010.

Author: Luis Galanes
Published: June 06, 2012.

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