Social impacts of Ecuador's dollarization: perceptions from the Otavalo household

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Fishlock, J. Claire

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University of Guelph

Abstract

This thesis is an investigation of the social impacts of Ecuador's dollarization. Focusing on an Andean indigenous community, this thesis reveals how citizens have perceived their experiences of dollarization. Drawing on semi-structured interviews and participant observation, this study analyzes how households are experiencing new economic challenges through various social facets such as basic family living, societal relations, work and education. Relying on a model for well-being assessment, this thesis analyzes changes to household material and nonmaterial capital since the advent of dollarization. Social impacts of dollarization are assessed through this framework, focusing on how respondents have perceived dollarization to have affected their well-being. Findings suggest new economic realities have challenged household well-being through deteriorated income and financial security. Findings also reveal vast reservoirs of social and cultural capital which have proven beneficial to households. This thesis concludes that although social and cultural capital have been reinforced, dollarization has been perceived as having an overall negative impact on household well-being.

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Keywords

social impacts, Ecuador, dollarization, Andean indigenous community, perception, experience, economic challenges

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