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Employment Policy

  • Rodney Lowe
Chapter

Abstract

The maintenance of a high and stable level of employment was one of the fundamental assumptions of the Beveridge Report and an objective to which all governments were positively committed after 1944. Its achievement was seen as a direct way to enhance individual welfare as well as a stimulus to all other areas of welfare policy. If the workforce were fully employed, economic growth was more likely to be achieved and revenue sufficiently buoyant to finance expanding services. Moreover, if Keynesian techniques of demand management were used, there would also be a positive economic reason (the maintenance of aggregate demand) to justify increased social expenditure when it was most needed, in a depression. Economic and social policy would, in theory, be once again in harmony — rather than in direct conflict as they had been in the interwar years, when classical economic theory had required cuts in public expenditure during a depression in order to reduce costs and thereby encourage investment.

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Further Reading

  1. Two good introductions to economic planning are A. Budd, The Politics of Economic Planning (1978) and the more detailedGoogle Scholar
  2. J. Leruez, Economic Planning and Politics in Britain (Oxford, 1975).Google Scholar
  3. S. Young and A. V. Lowe, Intervention in the Mixed Economy (1974) provides an introduction to industrial policy between 1964 and 1972, whilstGoogle Scholar
  4. A. M. Gamble and S. A. Walkland, The British Party System and Economic Policy, 1945–1984 (Oxford 1984) presents the stimulating, and conflicting, views of two political scientists on demand management and industrial policy. There has been a lengthy debate in the Economic History Review on the character and significance of the 1944 Employment Policy white paper, details of which are provided inGoogle Scholar
  5. G. C. Peden, Keynes, the Treasury and British Economic Policy (1988). Two more recent contributions areCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. S. Glynn and A. Booth, The Road to Full Employment (1987), which provides a good introduction to its origins, andGoogle Scholar
  7. N. Rollings, ‘British Budgetary Policy, 1945–54: A “Keynesian revolution”?’, Economic History Review, vol. 41 (1988) pp. 283–98, which provides a review of its early fate. Nothing is more stimulating, however, than the original texts themselves: Employment Policy (Cmd 6527) andGoogle Scholar
  8. Sir W. Beveridge, Full Employment in a Free Society (1944).Google Scholar
  9. Two good introductions to economic planning are A. Budd, The Politics of Economic Planning (1978) and the more detailedGoogle Scholar
  10. J. Leruez, Economic Planning and Politics in Britain (Oxford, 1975).Google Scholar
  11. S. Young and A. V. Lowe, Intervention in the Mixed Economy (1974) provides an introduction to industrial policy between 1964 and 1972, whilstGoogle Scholar
  12. A. M. Gamble and S. A. Walkland, The British Party System and Economic Policy, 1945–1984 (Oxford 1984) presents the stimulating, and conflicting, views of two political scientists on demand management and industrial policy. There has been a lengthy debate in the Economic History Review on the character and significance of the 1944 Employment Policy white paper, details of which are provided inGoogle Scholar
  13. G. C. Peden, Keynes, the Treasury and British Economic Policy (1988). Two more recent contributions areCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. S. Glynn and A. Booth, The Road to Full Employment (1987), which provides a good introduction to its origins, andGoogle Scholar
  15. N. Rollings, ‘British Budgetary Policy, 1945–54: A “Keynesian revolution”?’, Economic History Review, vol. 41 (1988) pp. 283–98, which provides a review of its early fate. Nothing is more stimulating, however, than the original texts themselves: Employment Policy (Cmd 6527) andGoogle Scholar
  16. Sir W. Beveridge, Full Employment in a Free Society (1944).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rodney Lowe 1993

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  • Rodney Lowe

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