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World Bank supports new regional GDP data for policy in the Dominican Republic

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A groundbreaking new report, completed with support of the World Bank, provides the Dominican Republic’s first-ever regional accounts aligned with international standards for the System of National Accounts (2008 SNA), allowing for more effective and timely policymaking for the country’s ten regions. The study, “Approximating the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the regional level in the Dominican Republic,” released by the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development and the Office for National Statistics of the Dominican Republic last fall, estimates regional GDP and regional Gross Value Added (GVA) by industry in the Latin American nation using the best available data sources.

Regional accounts break down key national macroeconomic indicators into regional economic territories within a country. In doing so, they provide critical information to guide the design and implementation of regional public policies, including the analysis of regional disparities, differences in productivity, and the contribution to national economic growth originating from each region.

The Dominican Republic's new regional accounts have enabled officials to identify the most dynamic regions of the Caribbean nation, and to analyze the contribution of each region to national economic growth, the relationships of growth and poverty, the degree of regional industrial diversification, and progress towards regional economic convergence.

The relevance of these regional accounts for the broader development discourse is undeniable. They have already informed significant policy research and analysis, such as the study on Equality and territorial development gaps: Dominican Republic 2021 which collects information on dimensions of development related to eight Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They have been used to help formulate the Dominican Republic’s National Plan of Territorial Ordering, aiming to create public policies that allow the sustainable use of local natural resources. In the technical note Scholarship prioritization model with a territorial approach, the Directorate of Sectoral Economic Analysis uses the contribution to national GDP growth of each region to prioritize scholarship funding in an effort to enable more inclusive regional development. Finally, the study’s regional GDP figures have been used to predict the economic impact of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, by linking regional GDP data to the Disaster Risk Profile to identify the most vulnerable industries and geographic areas.

Leading up to the release of the report, in a year-long collaboration with Dominican Republic officials, World Bank experts provided technical assistance to evaluate data sources and estimate a first set of regional time series covering the 2015-2019 period. Most importantly, they helped develop a standardized compilation framework, allowing the Dominican Republic’s Office for National Statistics to compile regional accounts on a regular basis, consistent with official national GDP results. Regular compilation of these datasets, enabled by this standard compilation framework, will allow for better-informed economic policy going forward. 

Scroll through our interactive storyboard below to learn more about the report’s main findings.

We would like to express our gratitude to Catherine Van Rompaey (Principal Economist - Economic, Debt and Price Data Unit, Development Data Group, World Bank) for her advice and valuable editorial suggestions.  


Jose Pablo Valdes Martinez

Senior Economist, DECDG, World Bank

Shwetha Grace Eapen

Consultant, Development Data Group, World Bank

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