A History of Canadian Economic Thought (Routledge History of by Robin Neill

By Robin Neill

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Much of the literature produced in the context of these research, planning and development initiatives was sophisticated, quantitative description, but a small portion of it was theoretical, making the exercise something of a repeat of the early-nineteenth-century Intellectual Awakening. 43 The first school attributed slow growth in the Maritimes to a poor resource endowment and location. The second attributed it to out-migration of human capital, particularly entrepreneurial talent. ’44 The studies were a latter-day repeat of the spate of statistical descriptions that characterized the 1830s and 1840s.

Here, however, attention is turned to the economics of the Maritimes, and, by extention to Newfoundland, to the economics of Atlantic Canada. THE FUNDAMENTAL DILEMMA The economics of Atlantic Canada has been rooted in long-run dependence on fishing, forestry, mining and maritime transport. This dependence has been the occasion of recurring economic recessions. In consequence, there have been recurring attempts to expand activities, agriculture and manufacturing, that, presumably, would not be subject to recessions.

They publish in refereed journals. Still, all of this has occurred long after the birth of la pensée économique 39 40 A history of Canadian economic thought au Québec, in fact, much of it has occurred after the demise of la pensée économique. La pensée économique preceded in time the emergence of an economics profession in Quebec: ‘la pensée économique. En fait celle-ci et, comme la vie économique, elle n’attend pas les économistes pour exister. ’2 We will begin with the unself-conscious roots of what will develop into a distinctive economic thought in Quebec, but we must first find some definition of economics, some point of view on economics, that will give us an entrée into what was, until the Second World War, a totally unfamiliar information environment to an anglophone.

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