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Government & The American EconomyA New History$
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Price V. Fishback

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226251271

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226251295.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 25 September 2018

The World Wars

The World Wars

Chapter:
(p.431) 14 The World Wars
Source:
Government & The American Economy
Author(s):

Robert Higgs

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226251295.003.0014

The United States' participation in the two world wars gave rise to massive increases in the extent of government involvement in economic life and brought about many important, enduring changes in the government's relations with private economic actors. In both wars, the federal government expanded enormously the amount of its expenditures, taxation, and regulations as well as its direct participation in productive activities, creating what contemporaries described during World War I as “war socialism.” Each of these great experiences left a multitude of legacies—fiscal, institutional, and ideological—many of which continue to shape the country's political economy. This chapter portrays the experiments with the command economy that were conducted during the two world wars and the legacies that they established. It first discusses the institutional and fiscal legacies of World War I and then evaluates the economic impact of World War II.

Keywords:   World War I, World War II, United States, federal government, taxation, expenditures, regulations, political economy

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