Article on Agriculture and economic development

Read the article on blackboard in the assignments area, John McCallum "Agriculture and economic development in Ontario and Quebec until 1870", Gordon Laxer, ed. Perspectives on Canadian Economic Development: Class, Staples, Gender and Elites (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1991).

a. Which colour/region on the game board seems to have the best chance of winning? Explain your reasons?

b. If you think of Canada in 1867, is this game board historically accurate? How would you change the game board, or the conditions at the start of the game to make it more historically accurate?

c. If you were to play with the game board that you described in part b, then which colour/region on the game board would have the best chance of winning? Explain your reasons.


(i) Green coloured region, Ontario, seems to have the best chance of winning the game. There are many reasons to choose this region as the favourite. Few of them are better agricultural productivity, higher per capita GDP, larger amount of land per capita, and subsequent development of institutions like banks. Furthermore, even the industries of this region were better developed than that of other regions.

(ii) The depiction in the game seems to be inaccurate if we take into account the geographical distribution of Canada in 1867. There was no place called Manitoba and Labrador during that period. Similarly, Alberta was not there, among other different regions.

Though the regions are not representative as it were on 1867, there is no change required in the beginning of the game. The main things to change will the names of the territories since the resource endowment does not change with nomenclature.

(iii) The assertion of first part remains valid and still Ontario seems to win the game.

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