The Canadian Economy

The Canadian Economy

A. E. Safarian
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 3
Pages: 284
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  • Book Info
    The Canadian Economy
    Book Description:

    Since the collapse of the global financial markets in 2008, economists and commentators have looked back to the Great Depression of the 1930s to discover similarities and solutions for recovery. Contributing to this crucial moment, renowned economist A.E. Safarian has added a new preface to his classic study of the Great Depression, discussing the present crisis and suggesting ways in which future crises might be avoided. Essential reading for economists, historians, and politicians, The Canadian Economy in the Great Depression is the definitive study of the country's worst period of economic failure, covering the period from the stock market's rise in the roaring 1920s, through the Great Crash, to the destitution of the 1930s and the eventual economic recovery. Countless students, journalists, and political leaders, including current US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, have used it to better comprehend the complicated nature and history of the markets. With remarkable clarity Safarian untangles the web of relations that led to - and sustained - the Great Depression while also examining the economic controls and stimuli put in place during the Depression and how and why these measures failed. This new edition introduces The Canadian Economy in the Great Depression to a new generation, particularly those concerned about the possibility of another Great Depression.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8435-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Preface to the 2009 Carleton Library Edition
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    A.E. Safarian
  4. Preface to the 1970 Carleton Library Edition
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    A. E. Safarian
  5. Preface
    (pp. xviii-xxii)
    A. E. S
  6. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-17)

    The downswings in economic activity which have affected Canada in the last sixty years have often been mild and brief. Renewed economic expansion and, in 1914, war intervened before the downswings could become serious. The sharp decline in prices after 1920 was an exception, but even in this case another great surge of investment was under way within a few years.

    The thirties were quite unlike any other period in the past sixty years. For almost every year of the decade the number of workers unemployed exceeded 10 per cent of the total labour force, and in 1933 amounted to...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Antecedents of the Depression of the Thirties
    (pp. 18-71)

    The course of the depression and recovery cannot be properly understood without some study of developments which took place long before the thirties. Our immediate task, therefore, is to outline briefly economic change in the preceding decades, noting particularly several developments which were to affect the course of the depression profoundly.

    Three distinct periods of development can be delineated after 1895. From about 1895 to 1913 the settlement of the west dominated the economic scene. The wheat boom and the extension of the railway system are the main themes of this period. The war of 1914-18 consolidated the growth in...

  8. CHAPTER THREE The Downswing from 1929 to 1933
    (pp. 72-108)

    The period of the thirties was characterized by a world-wide downswing of exceptional length and severity, followed by a very slow recovery. Among those countries for which similar measures of economic activity are available, Canada experienced one of the worst downswings and most incomplete recoveries relative to 1929. In this chapter, the international background of the downswing will be considered briefly, the major developments in Canada examined, and the experience in Canada compared with that of some other countries.

    Two events of major international significance should be noted.¹ One was the severity of the decline in the United States, reflecting...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR The Beginning of Recovery, 1932-3
    (pp. 109-136)

    Gross national expenditure reached its lowest point in 1933. The decline was slower in 1932, however, and a large number of production series show a low point in 1932 or even earlier. Although the words “lower turning point” will be used in this connection, it is well to keep in mind that there was no specific time when all series turned upward.

    In this chapter the sources of expansionary pressures will be evaluated. Annual data are clearly not suitable for this type of analysis, for they hide significant changes in the direction of activity within a given period. Monthly data...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE The Recovery from 1933 to 1937
    (pp. 137-160)

    The recovery of the Canadian economy in the thirties was incomplete. By 1937 GNE had attained the 1926 level, but was still 13 per cent below that of 1929. The recovery appears even weaker if it is put in the perspective of a 10 per cent increase in population from 1929 to 1937. In 1937 some 10 per cent of the civilian labour force was still without jobs and seeking work.

    The recovery of world ecpnomic activity from 1932 to 1937 was also incomplete. After five years of recovery there were still large numbers of unemployed in a number of...

  11. CHAPTER SIX Exports and Domestic Investment in the Recovery
    (pp. 161-193)

    Before considering exports in the recovery, certain aspects of the downswing should be noted.¹ The downswing took the value of exports to the inter-war low of $39.0 million in the fourth quarter of 1932 – one quarter before the low in over-all economic activity.² Export values, moreover, had tended to level out through much of 1932. The country composition of exports changed greatly in this process. The decrease in 1929, reflecting lower exports of wheat, was to Western Europe and the United Kingdom. In 1930 and 1931 there was a drop in exports to each of the country groups being considered.³...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN Recovery in Selected Industries
    (pp. 194-219)

    In the preceding chapters the nature of the recovery has been examined primarily on an aggregative basis. It is necessary now to look more closely at the industries which were examined in the twenties in order to note more precisely the types of problems which limited their recoveries.

    No major industry suffered as much as agriculture in the downswing or recovered as slowly, judging by data on national income by industry. From its peak in 1928 to the low in 1933, national income fell by over 50 per cent. Income in agriculture in the same period fell by almost 80...

  13. CHAPTER EIGHT International Comparisons of Recovery
    (pp. 220-231)

    The Canadian recovery by 1937, relative to 1929, lagged considerably behind those of a number of countries. Canadian industrial production in 1937, excluding construction and electric power from the index, was 112 per cent of the 1929 level. Eight of the twenty-two countries shown in Table 15 were lower, relative to 1929.¹ National income in Canada had recovered to 85 per cent of the 1929 level; for the countries shown in the table just referred to, only Austria, the Netherlands, and the United States show a greater discrepancy between the 1937 and 1929 levels. Not only was the downswing comparatively...

  14. CHAPTER NINE Conclusion
    (pp. 232-241)

    This study has examined the nature of cyclical changes in Canada in the thirties, and particularly the reasons for the incomplete recovery of economic activity in the upswing. It was anticipated that, in a study of economic fluctuations, it would not be possible to prove in a definitive sense any particular hypothesis or set of hypotheses. By using a combination of theory, statistics, and history, however, it is possible to indicate the more reasonable hypotheses.

    In the opening chapter it was noted that, in the analysis of this period, primary emphasis has usually been placed on external factors. It is...

  15. Appendix A: Selected Statistics
    (pp. 242-248)
  16. APPENDIX B: Revised Series for Gross Domestic Investment
    (pp. 249-251)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 252-258)
  18. Index
    (pp. 259-261)