There are some examples that show that economics was a factor in the colonization of the New World. When Spain sponsored Christopher Columbus and his voyages, one factor that influenced their decision to sponsor him was that they hoped he would find minerals. If he found minerals, this would help strengthen the Spanish treasury.
The British also hoped to discover minerals in the New World. Some of the early settlements, such as Jamestown, were based on the hope of finding gold and silver. The British also had an interest in North America because they needed resources for their factories when the Industrial Revolution began. They knew it would be cheaper to get resources from their colonies instead of buying them from other countries. They also knew the colonies would serve as a guaranteed market for their goods that were manufactured in the factories in Great Britain. This would benefit the British economy.
The French were very protective of the lands they controlled in the North America. The French made a great deal of money from the lucrative fur trade. They didn’t want other countries, mainly Great Britain, infringing on this trade. It was a factor that led to the start of the French and Indian War.
Economics was definitely a factor in the colonization and development of the New World.