Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-t4qhp Total loading time: 0.451 Render date: 2022-08-18T04:21:27.179Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

From Central planning to the Market: The American Transition, 1945–1947

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2009

Robert Higgs
Affiliation:
Visiting Scholar, Department of Economics and Finance, Seattle University, and Senior Fellow in Political Economy, The Independent Institute, 714 Laurel Street, Edmonds, WA 98020. E-mail: rhiggs@independent.org.

Abstract

The orthodox view of U.S. reconversion after World War II relies on unacceptable GDP figures for the wartime economy and misinterprets the low level of unemployment during the war. For the postwar transtition, the emphasis on consumer demand financed by drawing down liquid assets accumulated during the war is inconsistent with the facts. The success of the transition depended on the reestablishement of “regime certainty,” which in turn depended on diminishing the influence of the more zealous New Dealers. Wartime and postwar political development created sufficient regime certainty for the postwar market system to generate genuine prosperity.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Economic History Association 1999

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Balke, Nathan S., and Gordon, Robert J.. “Appendix B: Historical Data.” In The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, edited by Gordon, Robert J., 781810. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.Google Scholar
Ballard, Jack Stocks. The Shock of Peace: Military and Economic Demobilization after World War II. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1983.Google Scholar
Brinkley, Alan. The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War. New York: Knopf, 1995.Google Scholar
Cantril, Hadley. Public Opinion 1935–1946. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1951.Google Scholar
Friedman, Milton, and Schwartz, Anna Jacobson. A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1963.Google Scholar
Friedman, Milton, and Schwartz, Anna Jacobson. Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goodwin, Craufurd D. “Attitudes toward Industry in the Truman Administration: The Macroeconomic Origins of Microeconomic Policy.” In The Truman Presidency, edited by Lacey, Michael J., 89127. New York: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Cambridge University Press, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldin, Claudia. “The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women's Employment.American Economic Review, 81 no. 4 (1991): 741–56.Google Scholar
Gordon, Robert J. “Postwar Macroeconomics: The Evolution of Events and Ideas.” In The American Economy in Transition, edited by Feldstein, Martin, 101–62. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.Google Scholar
Hayek, F. A.The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek. Vol. 10. Socialism and War: Essays, Documents, Reviews, edited by Caldwell, Bruce. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.Google Scholar
Higgs, Robert. Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.Google Scholar
Higgs, Robert. “Wartime Prosperity? A Reassessment of the U.S. Economy in the 1940s.” this JOURNAL 52, no. 1 (1992): 4160.Google Scholar
Higgs, Robert. “Private Profit, Public Risk: Institutional Antecedents of the Modern Military Procurement System in the Rearmament Program of 1940–1941.” In the Sinews of War: Essays on the Economic History of World War II, edited by Mills, Geofrey T. and Rockoff, Hugh, 166–98. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1993.Google Scholar
Higgs, Robert. “Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Resumed after the War.Independent Review 1, no. 4 (Spring 1997): 561–90.Google Scholar
Hooks, Gregory, Forging the Military-Industrial Complex: World War II's Battle of the Potomac. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991.Google Scholar
Isbell, Steven B.The 1948 Tax Cut: Prelude to Reaganomics.” Essays in Economic and Business History 13 (1995): 169–80.Google Scholar
Jeffries, John W.The ‘New’ New Deal: FDR and American Liberalism, 1937–1945.Political Science Quarterly 105, no. 3 (1990): 397418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jeffries, John W.A ‘Third New Deal’? Liberal Policy and the American State, 1937–1945.” Journal of Policy History 8, no. 4 (1996): 387409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jones, Byrd L.. “The Role of Keynesians in Wartime Policy and Postwar Planning, 1940–1946.” American Economic Review 62, no. 2 (1972): 125–33.Google Scholar
Krug, J. A.Production: Wartime Achievements and the Reconversion Outlook. War Production Board Document No. 334, 9 10 1945.Google Scholar
Lacey, Michael J. “Introduction and Summary: The Truman Era in Retrospect.” In The Truman Presidency, edited by Lacey, Michael J., 118. New York: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Cambridge University Press, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lacey, Michael J. ed. The Truman Presidency. New York: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Cambridge University Press, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lichtenstein, Nelson. “Labor in the Truman Era: Origins of the ‘Private Welfare State.’” In The Truman Presidency, edited by Lacey, Michael J., 128–55. New York: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Cambridge University Press, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mises, Ludwig von. Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 3rd rev. ed.Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1966.Google Scholar
O'Brien, Ellen. “How the ‘G’ Got into the GNP.” In Perspectives on the History of Economic Thought. Vol. 10. Method, Competition, Conflict and Measurement in the Twentieth Century, edited by Vaughn, Karen I., 241–55. Aldershot, Eng.: Edward Elgar, 1994.Google Scholar
Riddell, Kelly. “The State, Capitalism, and World War II: The U.S. Case.” Armed Forces & Society 17, no. 1 (1990): 5379.Google Scholar
Rockoff, Hugh. “The United States: From Ploughshares to Swords.” In The Economics of World War II: Six Great Powers in International Comparison, edited by Harrison, Mark, 81121. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sapir, Michael. “Review of Economic Forecasts for the Transition Period.” In National Bureau of Economic Research, Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, Studies in Income and Wealth. Vol. 11, pp. 273351. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1949.Google Scholar
Skousen, Mark. “Saving the Depression: A New Look at World War II.” Review of Austrian Economics 2 (1988): 211–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smiley, Gene. The American Economy in the Twentieth Century. Cincinnati: South-Western Publishing, 1994.Google Scholar
Swanson, J. A., and Williamson, S. H.. “Estimates of National Product and Income for the United States Economy, 1919–1941.” Explorations in Economic History 10, no. 1 (1972): 5373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Truman, Harry S.The Economic Report of the President. Washington, DC: GPO, various dates.Google Scholar
U.S. Bureau of the Census. Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970. Washington, DC: GPO, 1975.Google Scholar
U.S. Council of Economic Advisers, Annual Report. Washington, DC: GPO, various years.Google ScholarPubMed
U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Comptroller, National Defense Budget Estimates for FY 1991, 03 1990.Google Scholar
U.S. Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion, Report to the President, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. Washington, DC: GPO, various dates.Google Scholar
U.S. War Production Board, General Economics and Planning Staff Program and Statistics Bureau. American Industry in War and Transition, 1940–1950. Part II. The Effect of the War on the Industrial Economy. Document No. 27, 07 20, 1945.Google Scholar
Vedder, Richard K., and Gallaway, Lowell E.. “The Great Depression of 1946.” Review of Austrian Economics 5, no. 2 (1991): 331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vedder, Richard K., and Gallaway, Lowell E.. Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America, updated edition. New York: New York University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
Walton, Gary M., and Rockoff, Hugh. History of the American Economy, 7th ed.Fort Worth, TX: Dryden Press, 1994.Google Scholar
8
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

From Central planning to the Market: The American Transition, 1945–1947
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

From Central planning to the Market: The American Transition, 1945–1947
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

From Central planning to the Market: The American Transition, 1945–1947
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *