The social market economy has served as a fundamental pillar of post-war Germany. Today, it is associated with the European welfare state. Initially, it meant the opposite. Rebuilding Germany examines the 1948 West German economic reforms that dismantled the Nazi command economy and ushered in the fabled 'European Miracle' of the 1950s. Van Hook evaluates the US role in German reconstruction, the problematic relationship of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and his economics minister, Ludwig Erhard, the West German 'economic miracle', and the extent to which the social market economy represented a departure from the German past. In a nuanced and fresh account, Van Hook evaluates the American role in West German recovery and the debates about economic policy within West Germany, to show that Germans themselves had surprising room to shape their economic and industrial system.
• Author investigates the application and development of the social market economy, instead of focusing on the theoretical development of it • An international history that utilizes extensive American, British, as well as German records • Offers an attempt to analyse the complex international dynamic crucial to occupied Germany's development
Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Planning for reconstruction; 2. The future of the Ruhr: socialization, decartelization, restoration, 1945–8; 3. High hopes and disappointment: the SPD and the planning regime, 1945–7; 4. Ludwig Erhard, the CDU and the free market; 5. Free markets, investment and the Ruhr: the Korean war crisis; 6. The social market economy and competition; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.