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The Business of Power: Canadian Multinationals in the Postwar Era

The Business of Power: Canadian Multinationals in the Postwar Era

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Title: The Business of Power: Canadian Multinationals in the Postwar Era
Author: Brennan, Jordan Peter William
Abstract: The modern corporation is the dominant institution of the Canadian political economy. Does this imply that ‘corporate power’ is a meaningful concept in the Canadian context? What role has globalization played in restructuring the corporate sector? Are large firms controlled by salary-oriented managers or profit-seeking proprietors? Do mergers and acquisitions fuel the expansion of large firms? Why has Canada experienced slower GDP growth in recent decades? And how can we account for the level and pattern of Canadian income inequality? These and other questions are probed in this dissertation using tools from a variety of heterodox political-economic perspectives, including Nitzan and Bichler’s ‘capital as power’ framework, Institutionalism and Post Keynesianism. The reader will be introduced to some of the assumptions, concepts and theoretical claims that steer the research. The history of Canadian business will be reinterpreted and scholarship on the modern corporation surveyed. This will set the stage for an examination of large firms, or ‘dominant capital’, in Canada over the postwar period. This study provides the first long-term estimates for aggregate concentration and for corporate amalgamation. It devises metrics to capture the distributive struggle between capital and labour and for the globalization of merger activity. The structure of corporate ownership is laid bare, linkages between amalgamation and concentration are established and the association between the growth of large firms and GDP stagnation is charted. The dissertation closes by establishing points of contact between the amassment of corporate power and income inequality.
Subject: Economics
Political Science
Canadian studies
Keywords: Heterodox economics
Corporate power
Market structure
Canadian business
Corporate ownership
Mergers and acquisitions
Post Keynesianism
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/28263
Supervisor: Peacock, Mark
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Political Science
Exam date: 2014-07-28
Publish on: 2015-01-26

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