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How Occupied France Financed Its Own Exploitation in World War II

Author

Listed:
  • Eugene N. White
  • Filippo Occhino
  • Kim Oosterlinck

Abstract

The occupation payments made by France to Nazi Germany between 1940 and 1944 represent one of the largest recorded international transfers and contributed significantly to financing the overall German war effort. Using a neoclassical growth model that incorporates essential features of the occupied economy and the postwar stabilization, we assess the welfare costs of French policies that funded payments to Germany. Occupation payments required a 16 percent reduction of consumption for twenty years, with the draft of labor to Germany and wage and price controls adding substantially to this burden. Vichy's postwar debt overhang would have demanded large budget surpluses; but inflation, which erupted after Liberation, reduced the debt well below its steady state level and redistributed the adjustment costs. The Marshall Plan played only a minor direct role, and international credits helped to substantially lower the nation's burden.
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Suggested Citation

  • Eugene N. White & Filippo Occhino & Kim Oosterlinck, 2007. "How Occupied France Financed Its Own Exploitation in World War II," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 295-299, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:2:p:295-299
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.2.295
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    1. Michael D. Bordo & Dominique Simard & Eugene White, 1994. "France and the Bretton Woods International Monetary System: 1960-1968," NBER Working Papers 4642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Ohanian, Lee E, 1997. "The Macroeconomic Effects of War Finance in the United States: World War II and the Korean War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 23-40, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jérôme Blanc, 2008. "Pouvoirs et monnaie durant la seconde guerre mondiale en France : la monnaie subordonnée au politique," Post-Print halshs-00652826, HAL.
    2. Kim Oosterlinck & Loredana Ureche-Rangau & Jacques-Marie Vaslin, 2013. "Waterloo: a Godsend for French Public Finances?," Working Papers 0041, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    3. Kim Oosterlinck, 2017. "Art as a Wartime Investment: Conspicuous Consumption and Discretion," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(607), pages 2665-2701, December.
    4. Huff, Gregg & Majima, Shinobu, 2013. "Financing Japan's World War II Occupation of Southeast Asia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 937-977, December.
    5. David, Geraldine, 2016. "Art as an investment in a historical perspective," Other publications TiSEM 2361da4b-d827-4cae-91ce-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Georges Gallais‐Hamonno & Thi‐Hong‐Van Hoang & Kim Oosterlinck, 2019. "Price formation on clandestine markets: the case of the Paris gold market during the Second World War," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 72(3), pages 1048-1072, August.
    7. David le Bris, 2018. "What is a market crash?," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 71(2), pages 480-505, May.
    8. Huff, Gregg & Majima, Shinobu, 2013. "Financing Japan's World War II Occupation of Southeast Asia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(04), pages 937-977, December.
    9. Ran Abramitzky, 2015. "Economics and the Modern Economic Historian," NBER Working Papers 21636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation

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