The Electoral Temptations of Natural Resource Revenues: Towards a Theory on the Origins of Sovereign Wealth Funds in Canada

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Bellingham, David Joseph




This thesis works towards establishing a theory on the origins of sovereign wealth funds in Canada and argues that despite claims that they are inter-generational savings vehicles, in practice these funds are a means to create near- and medium-term fiscal flexibility that benefits the electoral prospects of incumbent governments. In an era of global tax competition, electoral resistance to taxation, and growing demographic pressures on public expenditures, governments have turned to sovereign wealth funds to generate much needed revenues while avoiding tax increases more visible to their electorates. Alberta is this thesis’ primary case study and illustrates the expected behaviour of sovereign wealth funds in Canada in the absence of strong governance structures, defined contribution rules, clearly articulated fund goals and strong fund connection to voters - four key elements present in widely recognized model funds like Norway and Alaska.


Political Science




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Political Economy

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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