Staple Thesis


DEFINITION of 'Staple Thesis'

A theory of economic growth that emphasizes the role traditional commodities, or staples, play in the shaping of a resource-rich economy. The staple thesis was created by Canadian economic historian Harold Innis and economist W.A Mackintosh as an explanation for how the pattern of settlement and economic development of Canada was influenced by the exploitation and export of natural resources. Though its original purpose was to model Canada's historical economic evolution, the staple thesis can be applied to any country with a successful, export-heavy economy.

BREAKING DOWN 'Staple Thesis'

The staple thesis factors the extraction of natural resources into several areas of economic development. Historically, an example can be derived from the fishing industry: an increase in the demand for fish subsequently increases demand for the construction of fishing ships. In contemporary times, another example would be the influence of the petroleum industry on economic growth in a country that exports oil. An increase in demand for oil exports influences the development of infrastructure, technological innovation and human capital.

  1. Development Economics

    A branch of economics that focuses on improving the economies ...
  2. Commodity Market

    A physical or virtual marketplace for buying, selling and trading ...
  3. Neoclassical Growth Theory

    An economic theory that outlines how a steady economic growth ...
  4. Emerging Market Economy

    A nation's economy that is progressing toward becoming advanced, ...
  5. Natural Capital

    A reference to the stock of natural resources, such as water ...
  6. Comparative Advantage

    The ability of a firm or individual to produce goods and/or services ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Understanding Supply-Side Economics

    Does the amount of goods and services produced set the pace for economic growth? Here are the arguments.
  2. Investing Basics

    Economic Indicators That Do-It-Yourself Investors Should Know

    Understanding these investing tools will put the market in your hands.
  3. Active Trading

    Leading Economic Indicators Predict Market Trends

    Leading indicators help investors to predict and react to where the market is headed.
  4. Options & Futures

    Explaining The World Through Macroeconomic Analysis

    From unemployment and inflation to government policy, learn what macroeconomics measures and how it affects everyone.
  5. Economics

    What Are Economies Of Scale?

    Is bigger always better? Read up on the important and often misunderstood concept of economies of scale.
  6. Economics

    Why the Euro Failed to Become the World's Reserve Currency

    Examine the current state of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency; learn the major reasons why the euro has failed to replace it in that capacity.
  7. Investing

    Top Investment Banks In The Energy Industry

    Many global Investment banks are highly involved in the energy industry, but there are also some smaller banks and boutiques that are strong players.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 Commodities Mutual Funds

    Get information about some of the most popular and best-performing mutual funds that are focused on commodity-related investments.
  9. Chart Advisor

    Agriculture Commodities Are In The Bear's Sights

    Agriculture stocks have experienced strong moves higher over recent weeks, but chart patterns on sugar, corn and wheat are suggesting the moves could be short lived.
  10. Economics

    The 4 Countries That Produce the Most Food

    Learn about the four food superpowers -- China, India, the United States and Brazil -- and what sets them apart from the rest of the world.
  1. When do I need a letter of credit?

    A letter of credit, sometimes referred to as a documentary credit, acts as a promissory note from a financial institution, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. When has the United States run its largest trade deficits?

    In macroeconomics, balance of trade is one of the leading economic metrics that determines the trading relationship of a ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Which is more important to a nation's economy, the balance of trade or the balance ...

    There is no question the composition of a country's balance of payments is more important than its balance of trade. This ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between Cost and Freight (CFR) and Free on Board (FOB)?

    The difference between cost and freight (CFR) and free on board (FOB) lies in who has responsibility for various shipping ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between cost and freight (CFR) and cost, insurance and freight ...

    The difference between cost and freight (CFR) and cost, insurance and freight (CIF) is essentially the requirement under ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the ethical arguments against government subsidies to companies like Tesla?

    The ethical argument behind government subsidies is that they should be put into place to help industries that will, in turn, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  2. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  3. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  4. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  5. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  6. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!