Your country needs you to shop

Many commentators (and politicians) have suggested that the most painless route out of the recession is for us all to shop until we drop. If we can prevent consumer spending from falling too far then this may help maintain oonsumer confidence and therefore aggregate demand. So, is it our patriotic duty to shop? Should we all be out there helping in our own small way to prevent recession, or will more shopping just land us even further in debt and therefore make us worse off? The articles linked to below look at various aspects of the ‘shopping debate’ and consider whether retail therapy is also economic therapy.

Your country needs you … to buy some underpants Guardian (20/12/08)
Beyond retail therapy Guardian (8/1/09)
Shopping is no panacea for a broken economy Guardian (28/12/08)
High street counter-offensive Guardian (31/12/08)
Should shopping be a patriotic duty? BBC News Online (19/12/08)


  1. How could the need both to reduce debt and to maintain aggregate demand be reconciled?
  2. Discuss the extent to which an increase in consumer expenditure is (a) a necessary and (b) a sufficient condition for a recovery of the economy?
  3. To what extent will long-term aggregate supply depend on the maintenance of aggregate demand?
  4. If shopping is your patriotic duty, what types of shopping would be best for the country?