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Lecture 2

GGR221 - Lecture 2 (word).docx

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Deborah Leslie

GGR221 - Lecture 2 Lectures are overall more important than readings Staples theory by Harold Innis W.A Mcintosh: "Canada is a nation created in defiance of geography" -Strengthen east-west ties in Canada National policy 1870s: a) tarrif barrier b) transcontinental railroad Harold Innis: -Liberal -Canadian Nationalist "Dirt Economics" : Theories needed to be developed for the current location Staple: A principal item of trade or consumption produced and consumed by a society, unprocessed or semi-processed primary resources Staples Production: primary resource activities and primary manufacturing activities in which resources are major inputs to the production process Staples Economy: A region that depends primarily on the export of raw and semi-processed materials to a more advanced manufacturing economy - (Pat Marchak). Staple industries are leading sector of economy and set pace for economic growth, economic development a process of diversification In conventional accounts, spread effects of sector realized through four types of interlinkages: 1. Backward linkages - anything provided to the resource company, i.e lawyers, chemicals, machines, fertilizers, oil rigs, etc. 2. Forward linkages - linkages to other firms that buy your resources 3. Final demand linkages - resource companies will stimulate growth in other sectors of the economy 4. Fiscal linkages - royalties paid to the government, which are in turn used to stimulate the economy However, two basic impediments stem from staples production A. Export mentality B. Firms are often large, oligopolistic, foreign Mel Watkins: Staples Trap: Once a region specializes in producing staples, it finds it very difficult to reconfigure production into other types of sectors Staples economy is inherently: Cyclonic - results is susceptibility to volatile resource prices, market demand, crisis Every staple is unique and has it's own temporality and spatiality. Each staple has own rhythm, timing Local staples region locked into set of global relations producing dependency. Power and decision-making vested in metropole Instead of global integration - Innis saw a vortex Marginal/local theory: Innis' marginal theory is embedded in institutional economics and its critique of orthodox/neoclassical economics orthodox economics grounded in modelling Paul Krugman "To be takes seriously an idea has to be something you can model" 1995. By modelling, he means the mathematical kind (the greek letter writing kind) Such theories draw upon universal concepts such as rationality, inherent laws of markets, equilibrium. They have a formal vocabulary, precise set of definitions and rules, assumptions that are universal and invariant, and ideas of rigorous correspondence model and reality Formal universal models can be useful, but there other styles of theorizing local/marginal theories are skeptical of definitions and procedures that claim to go beyond
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