Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1992


Published in Great Plains Research 2:1 (February 1992), pp. 137-139. Copyright © 1992 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


This review of Alberta's economic fortunes in the early and mid-1980s by two of Alberta's best academic economists will interest economists concerned either with western Canada in particular or with the problems of non-very- diversified regional economies in general.

The book's first two substantive chapters consist of a data-laden review of Alberta's protracted economic downturn in the early 1980s and its recovery following 1985. Using simulations with a computer model of the Alberta economy, the authors find that the provincial economy's performance was worse in the early 19808 and better in the middle 1980s than it would have been had "natural" factors alone, such as changes in resource prices and economic activity in customer markets, been the sole influences on output. The main "non-natural" influences were government policies and Mansell and Percy find that these made matters worse in the early 19808 and better after 1985.