The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
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The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by Guaporense » 06 Sep 2016 07:11

The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

The American economy in WW2 is a very weird case of a country which apparently had massive economic growth during wartime. Usually, economies collapse with sharp drops of GDP (France, Germany, Austria-Hungary in WW1, USSR and Japan in WW2) or maintain themselves through massive imports of labor (Germany in WW2).

Also, it appears to be a general case that in WW1 GDP collapses were much higher than in WW2. Why is that? In all cases war was financed thourgh massive borrowing which was partly paid by central banks which means central banks were "printing money" to pay for war expenditures which lead to a massive increase in money supply and hence in nominal GDP's.

However, in the US in WW2, prices didn't increase much while nominal GDP boomed. That's because in WW2 governments took direct control of economies to a much greater degree than in WW1, instead of allowing prices to rise to allocate scarce resources, governments began to allocate resources directly (which also means that in WW2 the war effort was perhaps less efficient than in WW1) while freezing prices: people's nominal incomes increased greatly and their "real" incomes also increased because prices were frozen, however, because of rationing, they couldn't actually SPEND their incomes ("real" wages in Germany increased in WW2, for instance, while decreasing 32% in WW1, but in WW1 these 67% remaining could be spent on whatever the workers wanted).

In other words, the main reason why WW1 national accounts show massive decreases in GDP while WW2 national accounts show increases in GDP (massive in the US's case) was because in WW1 markets were less distorted and so GDP better reflected levels of market activity. Another important reason is that in WW1, conscription was much more severe than in WW2, as result the civilian labor forces decreased abruptly while in WW2, countries like US and UK didn't allow for the civilian labor force to decrease significantly. Still this discrepancy is not easy to explain only in reference to real output, I believe the main cause is plain statistical manipulation caused by price freezing.

Well, in WW1, let's look at French GDP and price indexes:

-------- Prices ------- GDP
1913 - 100 ---------- 100
1914 - 105.6 ------- 84.0
1915 - 123.9 ------- 71.6
1916 - 145.4 ------- 80.6
1917 - 176.3 ------- 78.9
1918 - 232.5 ------- 66.2
1919 - 288.5 ------- 71.5
1920 - 405.8 ------- 77.3

Prices more than doubled and real GDP (nominal GDP divided by prices) decreased. After the war is over, however, the economy begins to recover and GDP grows at 8% a year during the first couple of years after the war, a natural consequence of the return to the labor force of the conscripted soldiers. Although inflation continued at increasing rates.

Now, let's look at the US's GDP and price indexes, US's GDP estimate is made by Kendrick (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Whitefield_Kendrick):

-------- CPI ---------- GDP
1939 - 99.30 ------- 100.0
1940 - 100.30 ------ 109.7
1941 - 105.31 ------ 128.7
1942 - 116.53 ------ 145.5
1943 - 123.68 ------ 160.6
1944 - 128.68 ------ 172.4
1945 ----------------- 171.3
1946 ----------------- 156.7
1947 ----------------- 153.4

So consumer prices increased 29% but GDP magically jumps 72%, growing at over 12% a year from 1940 to 1944. After the war is over, GDP magically DROPS, even though now the economy is released from having a large fraction of it's labor force being "held hostage" under conscription. Notice that real GDP is nominal GDP divided by the price index: in both France's WW1 case and US's WW2 case

Let's see how civilian (employed) labor force behaved in the process, in millions:

-------------- France ---- US
1st year ---- 17.53 ----- 46.1 (1940)
2nd year --- 14.96 ----- 48.6 (1941)
3rd year --- 13.15 ----- 52.8 (1942)
4th year --- 14.68 ----- 53.9 (1943)
5th year --- 15.64 ----- 53.6 (1944)
6th year --- 15.76 ----- 53.7 (1945)

So while France's labor force declined greatly following mobilization over the course of the war France mobilized 8 million men out of 33.2 million strong population outside of German occupation (the Germans occupied 6.5 million French people in WW1), most of that is shown in the decrease of 4.4 million of the civilian labor force from 1913 to 1915. And then they substituted the conscripted men with women and workers unfit for military duty, who are inexperienced or less physically able and hence less productive: labor productivity decreased 11% from 1913 to 1917. In the US, however, labor productivity appears to have magically increased 35.2% between 1940 and 1944.

Data for specific industries in Germany and France show a decrease in productivity as well: in Germany industrial productivity per worker decreased 22.3% from 1913 to 1918 and GDP decreased by about 25%, similar to France's.

One might think that the US's situation was different given the US's prodigious output of munitions in WW2, however, if you look at France and Germany in WW1, their production of munitions was extremely impressive at 280 million shells for France and 340 million for Germany from 1914 to 1918 (that's more artillery ammunition than produced by US and Germany combined in WW2) and over 101,000 aircraft were produced by the two countries combined in WW1. Productivity in producing munitions certainly exploded in the two countries during the period, but munitions industries only employed 10% of French's civilian labor force in 1918.

So why this massive discrepancy? Well, Simon Kuznets tried to produce more realistic estimates of US GDP for WW2, his results:

1939 - 100
1940 - 109.0
1941 - 121.8
1942 - 126.5
1943 - 132.5
1944 - 135.8
1945 - 139.4

Using this index, after the US entered the war in December 1941 productivity per worker did not appear to increase much: in fact, from 1941 when the war began to 1943, productivity per civilian worker DECREASED 2%, which is more in line with the experiences in WW1 of Germany and France. Although it doesn't fully match it.

And also, due to the massive distortions caused by centralized planning in the US's economy in WW2, even these revised figures are problematic:
Robert Higgs wrote:Finally, one can make an even more unorthodox—which is not to say incorrect—argument for rejecting the conventional wisdom. One can simply argue that outside a more or less competitive equilibrium framework, the use of prices as weights in an aggregation of physical quantities loses its essential theoretical justification. All presumption that price equals marginal cost vanishes, and therefore no meaningful estimate of real national product is possible.[22]

In fact, price was “never a factor” in the allocation of resources for war purposes. The authorities did not permit “the price-cost relationship . . . to determine either the level of output or the distribution of the final product to individual uses.”[23] Clearly, all presumption of equalities between prevailing prices, consumers’ marginal rates of substitution, and producers’ marginal rates of technical substitution vanished. Absent those equalities, at least as approximations, national income accounting loses its moorings; it necessarily becomes more or less arbitrary.

Some economists appreciated the perils at the time. Noting that the government had displaced the price system, Wesley Mitchell observed that comparisons of the war and prewar economies, even comparisons between successive years, had become “highly dubious.” Index number problems lurked around every corner. Much output during the war, especially the weapons, consisted of goods that did not exist before the war. Even for physically comparable goods, price structures and output mixes changed radically. Production of many important consumer goods was outlawed. Surrounding everything were the “obvious uncertainties concerning [price] quotations in a land of price controls and evasions.”[24] Kuznets declared that the “bases of valuation for the war and nonwar sectors of the economy are inherently noncomparable . . . . It is impossible to construct directly a price index of war products that would span both prewar and war years.” Kuznets’s own efforts to overcome these problems never escaped from arbitrariness, as he himself admitted.[25]
From: http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=138

This essentially explains in detail in what I was saying before: the magical growth in productivity (specially true in metal working industries as measured by Restuccia and Tooze (2013) where they try to explain why US labor productivity in metal working increased magically by 70% from 1939 to 1944) measured in WW2, but maybe isn't it a consequence of statistical distortion caused by price control/manipulation? Although it's true productivity increased a lot in munitions industries because supervisors workers were learning how to make goods they didn't make in peacetime: that only meant that productivity in those industries was "low" in pre-war times when munitions were produced in very small quantities.

These issues are also present in other countries that practiced price controls and centralized allocation (Germany for instance, although I would think that the US had achieved a higher level of central planning than Germany, because in Germany according to Tooze, munitions production was still driven by the orders made by the Wehrmacht to the private industries who produced them. Although there was central planning in the allocation of labor and in consumer goods, so distortions were there as well).

This implies that my estimates of military expenditures in WW2 are problematic because I converted then in pre-war prices using price indexes that mostly consists of prices frozen by government decree and hence do not reflect real scarcities. For example in WW2, German military outlays from 1940 to 1944 appear to be 361% of pre-war national income while in WW1, military outlays from 1914-18 were only 171% of pre-war national income. This discrepancy can be partly explained by the fact that Germany controlled a lot of occupied countries in WW2 and could tax them to finance gargantuan expenditures but they were also so high because prices were artificially frozen in WW2 so that inflation was not accurately measured which lead to inflation of estimated level of military expenditures.
Last edited by Guaporense on 06 Sep 2016 08:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by Stiltzkin » 06 Sep 2016 08:29

This implies that my estimates of military expenditures in WW2 are problematic
That took a lot of time to come to this conclusion....

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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by Guaporense » 08 Sep 2016 20:14

Overall it's expected that in conditions of total war economic activity will decrease. There are 3 main reasons:

1) Conscription of the labor force will reduce labor supply for the civilian economy.
2) The labor supply in the civilian economy will be partially replaced by entry in the labor force of women who are less experienced and productive on average.
3) There is a sectoral shift in demand among sectors in the economy that will cause an overall reduction in productivity: labor will go from consumer good industries to heavy industries which will imply in a sectoral assymetry between the capital stock of the economy and demand.

In WW1 GDPs in France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia collapsed. While the WW2 growth in GDP in the UK, US, Germany and the unoccupied parts of the USSR is probably caused by measurement error mainly induced by state imposed price controls.
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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by OpanaPointer » 08 Sep 2016 20:30

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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by Stiltzkin » 08 Sep 2016 21:35

1) Conscription of the labor force will reduce labor supply for the civilian economy.
2) The labor supply in the civilian economy will be partially replaced by entry in the labor force of women who are less experienced and productive on average.
3) There is a sectoral shift in demand among sectors in the economy that will cause an overall reduction in productivity: labor will go from consumer good industries to heavy industries which will imply in a sectoral assymetry between the capital stock of the economy and demand.
ad1) True.
ad2)True (or slaves).
ad3)Only if you neglect investing into the civilian sector (actually the USSR, after the dire situation of 42, shifts a certain amount in 43).

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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by Guaporense » 13 Sep 2016 00:34

@Stilzkin, when you mobilize for war, you have a sectoral change in demand: demand for products of certain sectors explode while demand for products of other sectors collapse. Since the capital structure of the economy is not perfectly flexible, there is a massive loss in productivity stemming from the incompatibility of capital structure of the economy and the particular demands in wartime.

Essentially, you have certain industries working on two or three shifts while other industries decline. This generates a loss of output.

Let me be more clear:

Suppose you have two sectors, Metal working and Non-metal working, in the whole economy. In peacetime, 90% of demand is from the non-metal working sector and 10% is from the metal working, there are 1,000 workers in the economy, 100 work in the metal working, 900 work in the non-metal working, each worker has 1,000 dollars in capital invested: 900 million in the non-metal working industry and 100 million in the metal working industry.

Then war starts and demand shifts, now 50% of demand is from the metal working sector and 50% from the non-metal working industries. So now, 700 workers work in the metal working sector and 300 workers work in the non-metal working sector: since capital stock per worker becomes 140 dollars per worker in the metal working sector, productivity there falls violently, while 300 workers work in the non-metal working sector, productivity there increases because each worker has more capital to work with. However, the increase in productivity in the non-metal working sector is much smaller than the fall in productivity in the metal working sector, the reason is that factories go idle in the non-metal working sector while factories are over-used in the metal working sector. So, the whole economy becomes very inefficient.

Back to history:

In WW2 that's exactly what happned in the US; the stock of machine tools increased from 940,000 in 1940 to 1,517,000 in 1945, while the labor force in metal working more than tripled. Hence, the capital to labor ratio was approximately halved. And the metal working sector began to produce stuff that they had no experience producing before, such as aircraft and tanks, as result productivity fell even more.

If you measure productivity, for instance, by tonnage of stuff produced, US productivity in WW2 was very low: notice that in 1939, the US produced about 4.5 million motor vehicles, that's about 6 million metric tons in motor vehicles while employing about 500,000 workers, in 1944, the motor vehicle industry employed about 800,000 workers and produced about 550,000 tons in tanks and about 580,000 trucks (95% of which were 1 or 2.5 ton trucks, which weight between 2-5 metric tons), which would weight about 2.1 million tons, so the whole motor vehicle industry in 1944 produced about 3 million tons of vehicles counting other AFVs and vans/cars, or about 50% of it's 1939 output while the labor force increased by 60%. The reason for this loss in productivity is that tanks and AFVs were produced in a artisan manner instead of assembly lines used to produce cars. The same with aircraft: the US aircraft industry employed over 2 million workers to produce about 500,000 tons of aircraft per year, compared with 500,000 workers in 1939 that produced 6 million tons of motor vehicles.

Why was that? Aircraft in WW2 were produced in an artisan fashion in huge workshops (that people liked to call "factories") that worked very much like ancient Greek sculpture workshops as the workers gradually sculpted the air-frames after tens of thousands of hours of work*: a B-17 airframe took about 20,000 hours for it's "sculpting", an aircraft whose air-frame weight was 11 metric tons, so that's 1,800 man hours per ton while a Ford Model 37 weighted about 1 ton but took only about 200 man-hours for it's complete manufacture (from raw materials to the finished product): the US aircraft industry employed >2 million workers to produce 600,000 metric tons of finished aircraft in 1944, or less than 300 kg of finished aircraft per worker while the motor vehicle industry in 1939 produced about 10 metric tons of finished motor vehicles per worker.

Assembly lines for peacetime goods:

Image

Artisan "sculpting" process of wartime goods:

Image

Tooze has noticed that German and American productivity levels in aircraft industry were very similar, while productivity levels in peacetime industries : German aircraft companies produced stuff like the Ju-88, an aircraft whose airframe weights about 5 tons with 7,000 hours of labor in 1943, that's 1,400 hours per ton of airframe compared to 1,800 hours for a B-17 in the US (which would need to be 1,100 hours per ton considering the economies of scale in making larger air frames to be equal to German productivity levels). Hence, by this metric, it appears German Ju-88 industry worked with about 150% of the US's B-17 industry level of productivity per hour. While in peacetime, German manufacturing productivity per hour was about 40-50% of the US's.

Indeed, if you think about it, US's munitions output in WW2 was very small if we consider the size of the labor force they had producing munitions and the pre-war levels of productivity in their manufacturing vis Germany, the UK, Japan or the Soviet Union.

US manufacturing employed about 10 million workers in 1939, compared to about 8 million in Germany. While in 1944, it employed about twice Germany's manufacturing labor force.

While in 1938, German motor vehicle industry produced ca. 360,000 vehicles, UK about 450,000, USSR about 200,000, Japan's motor vehicle industry produced about 45,000, so US's output in 1939 was about 10 times the level of Germany and UK, 20 times the USSR's and 100 times the level of Japan in 1938.

But, in WW2, the UK produced 130,000 aircraft, including about 16,000 heavy bombers, US produced 300,000 aircraft, including about 35,000 heavy bombers. That's much, much smaller discrepancy in quantity. It is as if American superiority in manufacturing productivity, which was 220% of the UK's in the mid 1930's, mostly vanished during the war.

Also, Germany, thanks to it's enormous investment in machine tools in the 1930's, started WW2 with the highest stock of metal working machinery per capita in the world: they were preparing, carefully, to fight WW2 at optimal conditions. Indeed, all their industry worked on a single shift during the whole war, which meant that the wartime capital labor ratio of war related industries was the same as the peacetime capital to labor ratio of industry as a whole. In 1930, Germany's machine tool stock was worth about 59% of the US's using 1942 machine tool prices, in 1938, it was worth about 96% of the US's stock in 1940, again using 1942 prices. That was the result of heavy investment in preparation for the war. This helps to explain the narrowing in the productivity differential between Germany and the US in WW2 munitions production, the narrowing between Japan, the UK and USSR can be explained by the artisan character of war-related industries vis. the peacetime industries such as the motor vehicle industry. Japan also did some heavy investment in metal working capital stock, which was about 1/3 of the size of the US's by 1940 in the number of machines.

*Although in ancient Greece, bronze sculptures were made from molds that were re-used to mass produce sculptures. Therefore, in those terms, ancient Greek bronze sculptures were more of a mass production industry than the American airframe industry in WW2.
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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by Stiltzkin » 13 Sep 2016 11:45

the UK and USSR can be explained by the artisan character of war-related industries
"Third, one of the factors which differentiated losers from winners was the shared commitment of postwar American, British, and Soviet industry to an American model of technological leadership based on centralized, large-scale mass production. This model owed much to wartime experience. The Allied countries were each enormously impressed by the victory of American standardized mass production. The peacetime merits of the craft system more favoured by German and Japanese industrial tradition had evaporated in the heat of war mobilization. The Soviets, having moved towards an American mass production model in the interwar period, now intensified it uncritically. Postwar attitudes in British industry also shifted towards an Americanized way of thinking."

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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by stg 44 » 13 Sep 2016 16:03

Guaporense wrote: Also, Germany, thanks to it's enormous investment in machine tools in the 1930's, started WW2 with the highest stock of metal working machinery per capita in the world: they were preparing, carefully, to fight WW2 at optimal conditions. Indeed, all their industry worked on a single shift during the whole war, which meant that the wartime capital labor ratio of war related industries was the same as the peacetime capital to labor ratio of industry as a whole. In 1930, Germany's machine tool stock was worth about 59% of the US's using 1942 machine tool prices, in 1938, it was worth about 96% of the US's stock in 1940, again using 1942 prices. That was the result of heavy investment in preparation for the war. This helps to explain the narrowing in the productivity differential between Germany and the US in WW2 munitions production, the narrowing between Japan, the UK and USSR can be explained by the artisan character of war-related industries vis. the peacetime industries such as the motor vehicle industry. Japan also did some heavy investment in metal working capital stock, which was about 1/3 of the size of the US's by 1940 in the number of machines.
A bit of an issue here. Lie, damn lies, stats. German machine tool stocks were mostly general purpose machinery that required skilled labor to use, American machine tools were generally much larger, specialized machines that required far less skills, less raw materials, and less time to produce. It was the American machine tools industry that was the best in the world and produced such machinery for the Brits and Soviets that allowed them to minimize labor and raw materials and maximize output, while the German machine tools industry was pretty backwards and lagging 2-3 years on orders and generally had to stick to making existing general purpose machine tools to keep pace with demand, which was not helping German productivity. Even after taking down continental Europe they seized even more general purpose machine tools, but due to the lack of skilled labor they threw them in warehouses. On paper German and US machine tool numbers were in Germany's favor initially, but that doesn't tell us the qualitative facts about American machine tools, which as the war went on expanded beyond what Germany had and were far more useful for mass manufacturing with a low skilled work force:
https://ideas.repec.org/p/cam/camdae/0342.html

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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 Sep 2016 16:12

Guaporense wrote:
2) The labor supply in the civilian economy will be partially replaced by entry in the labor force of women who are less experienced and productive on average.
Initially, like any untrained work force, productivity was lower than with a trained work force. However, the women had something to prove and their production record overall proved it.
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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 Sep 2016 16:28

stg 44 wrote:On paper German and US machine tool numbers were in Germany's favor initially, but that doesn't tell us the qualitative facts about American machine tools, which as the war went on expanded beyond what Germany had and were far more useful for mass manufacturing with a low skilled work force:
https://ideas.repec.org/p/cam/camdae/0342.html
Careful. He'll now take that reference and claim it agrees with his "analysis" just as he did after Ristuccia's paper was pointed out to him. As I have said a number of times now "Indeed, I have mentioned Ristuccia's paper a number of times in different threads here. It goes far to explain exactly why Mr. G's oft-used argument that the Germans had "more machine tools than the Americans" is so lacking in understanding." :roll:
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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by Guaporense » 14 Sep 2016 17:46

stg 44 wrote:
Guaporense wrote: Also, Germany, thanks to it's enormous investment in machine tools in the 1930's, started WW2 with the highest stock of metal working machinery per capita in the world: they were preparing, carefully, to fight WW2 at optimal conditions. Indeed, all their industry worked on a single shift during the whole war, which meant that the wartime capital labor ratio of war related industries was the same as the peacetime capital to labor ratio of industry as a whole. In 1930, Germany's machine tool stock was worth about 59% of the US's using 1942 machine tool prices, in 1938, it was worth about 96% of the US's stock in 1940, again using 1942 prices. That was the result of heavy investment in preparation for the war. This helps to explain the narrowing in the productivity differential between Germany and the US in WW2 munitions production, the narrowing between Japan, the UK and USSR can be explained by the artisan character of war-related industries vis. the peacetime industries such as the motor vehicle industry. Japan also did some heavy investment in metal working capital stock, which was about 1/3 of the size of the US's by 1940 in the number of machines.
A bit of an issue here. Lie, damn lies, stats. German machine tool stocks were mostly general purpose machinery that required skilled labor to use, American machine tools were generally much larger, specialized machines that required far less skills, less raw materials, and less time to produce.
Not really. If you read the article you quoted it shows that the composition of the stock of machines was very similar, specially in 1938-1940. Also, what's the source for your claim that American tools were "much larger"? Because the article doesn't say that (it's a conjecture). They clearly were not much more specialized given the similar composition of stocks.

That article's whole point is that one cannot explain the differences in productivity between US in Europe by the differences in the composition of the capital stock as apparently both were the same: the capital to labor ratio in Germany and the US was about the same, the machine to labor ratio was the same and the composition of machines were the same. They, trying to explain the discrepancy in productivity, conjecture that maybe American machines were "bigger". However, I might add a point: in a newer version of the article they estimate US productivity per machine to be 1.81 times the German level in 1930, however, they estimate that by using an exchange rate of 4.2 marks per dollar, however, according to Willianson (1995)'s estimates of PPP's, the dollar was worth 2.4 marks, not 4.2, using a 2.4 exchange rate instead of a 4.2 exchange rate we have that US productivity per machine was 1.03 times the productivity in Germany, not 1.81 times. Therefore, in terms of value added in terms of consumption goods, there was not a gap in productivity per machine in 1930.

Also, you should pay attention that I used VALUE figures not number figures to take into account the qualitative differences.

In terms of numbers the German stock was 67% of the US in 1930 and 105% in 1938 vis. 1940. In terms of VALUE, it was 59% and 96%, respectively.
On paper German and US machine tool numbers were in Germany's favor initially, but that doesn't tell us the qualitative facts about American machine tools, which as the war went on expanded beyond what Germany had and were far more useful for mass manufacturing with a low skilled work force:
Not really. Since the composition of tools was essentially the same you cannot say they were "far more useful for mass manufacturing with a low skilled work force". And it's not like the US's aircraft industry was a mass production industry either.

Finally, if the US industrial capital stock consisted of more specialized machines then that means that their economy will suffer a shaper drop in production due to mobilization than Gernany. That's easy to see: multi purpose tools can be used to make civilian goods or munitions while stuff used to make cars cannot be used to make tanks.
Last edited by Guaporense on 14 Sep 2016 23:47, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by Guaporense » 14 Sep 2016 17:47

Stiltzkin wrote:
the UK and USSR can be explained by the artisan character of war-related industries
"Third, one of the factors which differentiated losers from winners was the shared commitment of postwar American, British, and Soviet industry to an American model of technological leadership based on centralized, large-scale mass production. This model owed much to wartime experience. The Allied countries were each enormously impressed by the victory of American standardized mass production. The peacetime merits of the craft system more favoured by German and Japanese industrial tradition had evaporated in the heat of war mobilization. The Soviets, having moved towards an American mass production model in the interwar period, now intensified it uncritically. Postwar attitudes in British industry also shifted towards an Americanized way of thinking."

Harrison
Yet, the US aircraft industry in WW2 was pretty much a craft system. It still is since aircraft today still are not produced in assembly lines.

Labels like "mass production" are nonsensical labels because there is not really any essential difference between it and "craft production". There exists degrees in which division of labor exists: higher or lower degrees. More precisely, one can claim that in the 1930's American factories might have worked with a higher degree of division of labor than European factories on average. That would make more sense.

WW1 shell factory:
Image

That looks like "mass" production to me. But, wait, wasn't that an example of British craft production?
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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by OpanaPointer » 14 Sep 2016 18:10

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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by South » 14 Sep 2016 20:11

Good afternoon Guaporense,

If you believe US shipyards banging together Liberty ships was a craft production like cuckoo clock production in the Black Forest ......"nonsensical labels"......I hesitate to introduce you to the war mobilization of the US petroleum industry.

Your designations of "cottage industries" versus other categories such as designated "heavy industry", "rail transport", does not have universal support.

You are ,in substance,for example, comparing inland waterway hauls such as the Keil Canal economic efficiency against the Panama Canal and then doing ratio analysis adjusted to your definition selection.

In sincerity, I am not trying to attack you; only addressing your posted material.

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Re: The American WW2 Economic Puzzle

Post by John T » 14 Sep 2016 21:27

South wrote:
If you believe US shipyards banging together Liberty ships was a craft production like cuckoo clock production in the Black Forest ......"nonsensical labels"......I hesitate to introduce you to the war mobilization of the US petroleum industry.
Good evening Bob,
But what part of the Germans munitionsproduction could be compared with "cuckoo clock production in the Black Forest" ?

I can't see the big difference between a German and an American factory, there might been a somewhat better economy of scale in huge US complexes.
But nothing close to the comparison of German cuckoo clock's and US cars.

With the exception of Shipbuilding, where US did it quite different from everyone else.

Cheers
/John T

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