Now inserting my own comments: But, as North points out, even if staple production does not dominate an economy directly, this does not mean that staple production is not the dominant force in the economy by way of its complex linkages with the rest of economy. Although critics of the staple theory argue that failure of a staple economy is proof of failure of the staple theory, the staple theory was not designed to predict a particular successful course of development for regions where staple exports are important. It dominates an underdeveloped periphery that depends on production and export of staple commodities. Canada, the United States , Australia, and New Zealand are nations where staples appear to have played a positive role in fostering economic development.

Watkins, eds, Approaches to Canadian Economic History A History of Canadian Economic Thought. Of the various extensions and amendments to the staple theory, of particular importance has been the explicit introduction of linkages into analytical framework although Mackintosh himself highlighted in the s what has come to be referred to as linkages. The heart and soul of economic growth are internal to the economy supply side and relate to how the economy and its endowments are managed economically, socially, and politically. Most recent empirical work by Reynolds and by Rodriguez and Rodrik reiterates the importance of the supply side to the export-led growth process—causality runs from supply-side improvement to exports, not vice versa.


Demand linkages refer to the manner in which staple-related income is distributed and spent and how this affects the economy. A critical underlying assumption of the staple theory, as articulated by Innis and Mackintosh, is that not all output is created satples with regards to their productivity-generating capacities.


It is not too much to say that European civilization left its impress on North America through its demand for staple products. Both the supply and the demand sides are important to an understanding of the economic evolution of staple-producing economies, with the supply side playing a preeminent role given that staple economies have the most direct control or influence over the supply side.

These nodal centers can themselves become export centers not simply or even largely of staples, but of nonstaple outputs, wherein the latter’s base is the staple sector. Of the various extensions and amendments to the staple theory, of particular importance has been the explicit introduction of linkages into analytical framework although Mackintosh himself highlighted in the s what has come to be referred to as linkages.

This page is for use of my students in HIST Growth paths of a staple producing nation. Among his strongest critics was Robin Neill who advocated a post-Innisian thesis, explaining the economic development of Canada as an expression of variegated regions population density, cultural politics, geographic characteristics and of their particular north-south relationships with the United States.

Watkins, eds, Approaches to Canadian Economic History An Introduction to Canadian Economic History. Similarities Between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.

In western Canada the central staple was wheat. Thus, economic performance can be affected by forms of labor organization adopted in the staple economy: A History of Canadian Economic Thought. However, the importance of fur as a staple product also resulted in the northern half of the continent remaining dependent on Britain for trade and thus essentially British for so much of its history.

University of North Carolina Press, Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. Also important, however, were the shocks caused by volatility in the market for wheat and by the weather itself on the growing season.


Staple Thesis

Whereas in Canada the beaver was fittingly chosen as a symbol of unity, in Newfoundland the cod was largely responsible for disunity. They argued innus the evidence suggests that it would have made little difference to Canada’s economic performance had it been completely unable to produce wheat.

Article by Mel Watkins. The History of an International Economy.

staples thesis innis

In economic developmentthe staples thesis is a theory of export-led growth based on Canadian experience. Albert Hirschman — introduced the notion of backward, forward, demand, and fiscal linkages.

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You have likely seen this equation in discussions of the multiplier and Keynesian economics in macroeconomics classes. The addition of technical equipment. Easterbrook and Melvin H. I draw here on Berger for an introductory discussion of Innis.

Harold Innis and Staples Theory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. That province’s economic structure exemplifies the “core-periphery” structure of intra-regional relationships.

staples thesis innis

Supporting this effort to hold Canada together with an east-west railroad was a faith in technology to overcome physical obstacles. This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes.

Canada, and also those in HIST They argued that such assumptions should be applied to the analyses of any staple economy. Canada remained British in spite of free trade and chiefly because she continued as an exporter of staples to a progressively industrialized mother country.