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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the evidence connecting World War II to US economic performance in the second half of the twentieth century. It emphasizes the substantial costs of mobilizing the economy for war and provides a brief discussion of the institutions created to manage the war effort. It then surveys four areas where research on the political economy of World War II has concentrated: (1) the rise of women’s labor participation, (2) the decrease in wage and wealth inequality, (3) the postwar growth miracle, and (4) the growth of government in American society. Economic historians and economists have provided important revisions in each area. Along the way, the chapter points in several directions for future research.

Keywords: mobilization, war, postwar, growth of government, inequality, women, political economy

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