International Organizations and the Analysis of Economic Policy, 1919-1950

Overview

From the end of World War I through the early years of the Cold War, international organizations such as the League of Nations, International Labor Organization, the Bank for International Settlements, and the United Nations had a major influence on policies adopted among member nations. This book surveys ideas produced by those organizations on such vital matters as the international business cycle; trade policy; social policy; public expenditure; taxation and government investment activity; money and exchange ...

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Overview

From the end of World War I through the early years of the Cold War, international organizations such as the League of Nations, International Labor Organization, the Bank for International Settlements, and the United Nations had a major influence on policies adopted among member nations. This book surveys ideas produced by those organizations on such vital matters as the international business cycle; trade policy; social policy; public expenditure; taxation and government investment activity; money and exchange rate management; wage setting and full employment and the rich country-poor country divide. The work reveals explicit normative agendas underlying international political economy, and lessons are distilled for today's debates on international economic integration.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
List of Abbreviations
Preface
1 Economics and Policy in International Organizations: Introduction 1
Prologue: A Perspective on the Literature 1
Economics and Policy in International Organizations: Historiographical Issues 4
The Ideational Context of Research in International Organizations from 1919 9
2 Business Cycles: Conceptions, Causes, and Implications 17
Intellectual Setting in the 1920s 17
The ILO-League Research Program on Crises and Cycles to 1931 18
Reflections on the International Business Cycle: Further Analytical Work in the 1930s 30
Toward a Keynesian Reorientation for Business-Cycle Analysis and Policy in the 1940s 42
3 The Role and Conduct of Monetary Policy in the 1920s and 1930s 58
Doctrinal Support for International Economic Conferences in the Early 1920s 58
A Distinctive ILO Perspective on the Appropriate Monetary Policy Framework 61
The ILO Monetary Policy Rules 66
Postscript: The ILO Contribution to Monetary Policy Analysis in the 1920s 69
International Monetary Organization and Policy: Ideas Emerging at the LON and BIS in the 1930s 71
The ILO's Departure from Monetary Policy Orthodoxy in the 1930s 75
4 Public Investment Programs in the Interwar Period: Pre-Keynesian, Proto-Keynesian, and Keynesian Perspectives 81
A Pre-Keynesian Public Works Strategy for the 1920s 82
Challenges to Pre-Keynesian Doctrine on Public Works 87
The 1932 ILO Resolution Regarding Public Works: Toward Global Economic Reconstruction 94
5 Trade Policy Research: Geneva Doctrine and the Scandinavian Connection 105
The World Economic Conference and Ohlin's League of Nations Report 106
Disturbances to International Equilibrium: League Assessments in the 1930s 112
Folke Hilgerdt's Pioneering Calculations and Revisions in Geneva Trade Policy Doctrine 119
Freer Trade, International Agreements, and Macroeconomic Management 125
Geneva Trade Policy Research: Capsule Summary 130
6 Social Economics at the ILO: Scope, Content, and Significance 133
International Experience and Debate on Social Insurance up to the 1930s: The ILO Perspective 136
Unemployment Insurance: A Case Study 138
Wages and Wages Policy: Microeconomic Issues 143
Changing the Links between Social and Economic Policy and the New Social Security Vision 160
7 International Finance and Exchange Rate Policy 167
Introducing Nurkse's Pivotal Work on Currencies and Inflation 167
Adjustment Problems in the Crisis Phase without International Rules 169
Exchange Market Disturbances and the Rationale for an Exchange Rate Rule 177
The Postwar International Monetary System: Stabilization Rules for Three Main Dimensions of Economic Policy 182
Toward International Coordination of Macroeconomic Policies 191
8 The Full Employment Movement from the 1940s 198
Employment Policy in Wartime and the Transition to Peace 199
The Rise of Development Economics in International Organizations: The Rich-Country-Poor-Country Debate 208
Dimensions of the Full Employment Obligation 213
Contemporary Evaluation of the ILO and UN Full Employment Reports 227
Concluding Reflections on the Full Employment Literature 234
9 Conclusion: Epilogue: Investigating Economics and Policy Analysis in International Organizations 237
Characterizing Policy Analysis Produced for International Organizations 239
On the Distinctiveness of Economic Thought in International Organizations 244
Reflecting on Principal Intellectual (and Other) Influences 248
Normative Agendas for International Political Economy 1919-1950 252
International Economic Integration as a Dominant Theme to 1950 254
References 259
Index 283
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