Macroeconomic Planning

  • Glen O’Hara


Planning did not only have a history as an idea, but also a pedigree as an administrative macroeconomic practice. State intervention as such was certainly not beyond the pale before the Second World War, and governments were involved in a number of large-scale rationalisation projects in industry. They intervened to reorganise the railways and coalmining in the 1920s; the National Government took a close interest in the Bank of England’s reordering of the steel industry. The BBC, the Central Electricity Generating Board and the London Passenger Transport Board are other good examples.1 The economic crisis of 1929–31 cleared the way for increased intervention, freeing sterling from its pegged gold value while being managed through direct intervention in the financial markets and tariffs. The domestic situation, and economic reorganisation, could therefore be given higher priority. The Tariff Duties Advisory Committee set up after the introduction of protection insisted on reorganisation and concentration in a number of industries, for instance iron and steel, before it would allow the adoption of effective tariff rates.2 However, these were discretionary interventions, not intended to add up to government-led plans for the entire economy. Only very small amounts of money were committed by Whitehall to public works, for instance, and long-term investment plans were only inaugurated during rearmament in the very late 1930s so as not to get in the way of military procurement.3


Trade Union Wage Increase National Plan Resale Price Maintenance Income Policy 
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Copyright information

© Glen O’Hara 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glen O’Hara
    • 1
  1. 1.Oxford Brookes UniversityUK

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