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Building up a multilateral strategy for the United States: Alvin Hansen, Jacob Viner and the Council on Foreign Relations (1939-1945)


  • Sebastiano Nerozzi

    () (University of Palermo, Dipartimento di Studi su Politica, Diritto e Società)


Between 1943 and 1947 a new economic order was founded, which aimed at implementing multilateral trade, international monetary cooperation and economic stability supported by government intervention. This paper describes the contribution provided to this process by a group of American economists working under the auspices of the Council on Foreign Relations and in close connection with the State Department. Since 1939 the Economic and Financial Group led by Jacob Viner and Alvin H. Hansen played an important role in designing strategic choices which concerned American economic interests in the post-war world and in preparing the ground for the establishment of such multilateral agencies as the IMF, the IBRD and the ITO-GATT system. In assessing Viner’s and Hansen’s views and proposals, this paper shows how different and competing approaches to economic theory and policy compromised and converged in supporting this outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastiano Nerozzi, 2007. "Building up a multilateral strategy for the United States: Alvin Hansen, Jacob Viner and the Council on Foreign Relations (1939-1945)," Working Papers - Economics wp2007_08, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  • Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2007_08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Duc Hong Vo, 2010. "The Economics Of Fiscal Decentralization," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(4), pages 657-679, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastiano Nerozzi, 2011. "From the Great Depression to Bretton Woods: Jacob Viner and international monetary stabilization (1930-1945)," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 55-84.

    More about this item


    Jacob Viner; Alvin Hansen; Bretton Woods; Council on Foreign Relations; Post-War Planning; State Department.;

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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