The_Role_of_Consumption_in_Canadas_Econo.pdf - The Role of Consumption in Canada\u2019s Economic Sustainability A Contribution to the \u2018Wicked Problem\u2019

The_Role_of_Consumption_in_Canadas_Econo.pdf - The Role of...

This preview shows page 1 - 5 out of 127 pages.

The Role of Consumption in Canada’s Economic Sustainability: A Contribution to the ‘Wicked Problem’ of Economic, Political, and Environmental Sustainability A Thesis Submitted to the Committee on Graduate Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Faculty of Arts and Science TRENT UNIVERSITY Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Mohamed Abdel Hady, 2016 Sustainability Studies M.A. Graduate Program May 2016
Image of page 1
ii Abstract The Role of Consumption in Can ada’s Economic Sustainability: A Contribution to the ‘Wicked Problem’ of Economic, Political, and Environmental Sustainability Mohamed Abdel Hady This thesis addresses the interconnectedness of environmental sustainability and economic sustainability. There is evidence from the Canadian experience that market economies are extremely dependent upon consumption - the most significant factor in determining the overall level of economic activity and economic growth. Therefore, from this perspective, severa l periods of declining consumption would create a ‘vicious cycle’ [Kaldor, 1967] of economic decline that would be politically unsustainable. The analysis here shows that income inequality drives changes in debt-fueled consumption, and consequently, debt influences consumption. The role of income inequality as a mediating channel of sustainability via the borrowing/lending model presents evidence that ‘conventional’ debt servicing behaviour in the macro-economy can support steady- state economic growth that is, in economic terms, sustainable. Solving the conflict between the environment and the economy lies in private and public investments in new technologies and, most importantly, new social institutions that facilitate economic, political, and environmental, sustainability. Keywords: Sustainability, Consumption, Economic Growth, Household Debt, Income Inequality
Image of page 2
iii Acknowledgements I would like to thank Dr. Byron Lew, Dr. Saud Choudhry, and my thesis committee, for their exceptional help over the past two years. I am also grateful to Dr. Paul Shaffer, and the too many to name family members, graduate students and faculty members for their moral support and insightful comments. Special thanks goes to Professor Anwar Shaikh for his encouragement to pursue consumption as a thesis topic during his visit to Trent University in February 2015.
Image of page 3
iv Table of Content Abstract………………………………………………………………………..……………………………………….……ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………………………………………………….……….…………………..iii LIST OF FIGURES…………………..………………………………………………………….……….……….………..v LIST OF TABLES…………………………………………………………………………………………………….………vi INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…1 CHAPTER 1. The Canadian Debt-GDP Nexus (1990- 2015)…………………..…..………….……….10 CHAPTER 2. Mass Consumption and Its Implications for the Canadian Business Cycle…………………………………………………………………………..………………… .... …15 CHAPTER 3. Inequality, Consumption, and Economic Growth..………..………………..…… .... 24 CHAPTER 4. Rising Households’ Debt Levels & Mortgages..……………..………………………….39 CHAPTER 5. Income, Debt, and Consumpt ion…………..…………………………..…………………….57 CHAPTER 6. Conspicuous Consumption, Debt Servicing, and Economic Sustainability...66
Image of page 4
Image of page 5

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture