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

  • Robert Higgs (a1)
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.

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