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L'américanisation en Europe au xxe siècle : économie, culture, politique. Volume 1

 | 
Isabelle Lescent-Giles
, 
Dominique Barjot
, 
Marc de Ferrière

Deuxième partie. Mythes et réalités du projet américain

American influence on price stabilisation and currency fluctuations in Post-War France (1945-1958)

Michel-Pierre Chélini

Résumé

Les États-Unis ont fourni à l’Europe, et à la France en particulier, une aide matérielle et intellectuelle multiforme dans le but de stabiliser les prix et la monnaie. Les différents types de transferts qui ont assuré une meilleure stabilité des prix peuvent se classer ainsi : transferts matériels et financiers (Plan Marshall), culturels (missions de productivité, théories d’inflation, statistiques de comptabilité nationale et incitation à la concurrence), techniques (brevets), psychologiques et politiques (les États-Unis apparaissent comme caution et comme modèle), institutionnels (FMI, UEP) et commerciaux. La plupart des conseils et des dollars destinés à la stabilisation après 1947 ont été « négociés » comme pour le Plan Marshall, généralement dans le cadre d’une coopération européenne. L’imitation des États-Unis n’a pas été une simple copie conforme : les gains de productivité ont voisiné avec le développement d’un système de sécurité sociale. Une partie de l’appui américain est indirect comme la reconstruction du système monétaire international. En retour, dans les années 60, la France du général de Gaulle adresse aux États-Unis des conseils de stabilité pour le dollar.

Texte intégral

INTRODUCTION

1Economics may be defined by the production, exchange and consumption of products and services in certain quantities at a given price. But historians of the post-war period have given more attention to the quantities of goods and services produced than to the evolution of prices. This is unfortunate, since prices are a key element of purchasing power and of the equilibrium between supply and demand. In times of uncertainties, price fluctuations are at the source of economic upturns and downturns.

2After the war, Europe experienced severe price fluctuations that threatened economic and socio-political life. France was one of the worst hit and quite representative of European responses to US involvement. The United States had it in its power to restore price stability in Europe. It had escaped the worst of war damages; it could achieve substantial economies of scale in production and was protected from inflationary pressures. From 1938 to 1958, prices in France registered a thirty-fold increase, while American prices just rose two-fold. The United States showered Europe with money and goods, through the Marshall Plan and the European Recovery Plan. It provided advice and became a role model for European economies. France’s policy makers welcomed American economic, financial and political advice, while developing their own strategies. The result was that France was seen in the 1960s as having achieved a fair degree of monetary stability. During all these years, exchanges between the United States and Europe oscillated between amicable cooperation and hard bargaining. This paper will scrutinize the role the United States played in France’s price stabilisation and analyse the French response. It will look at the way economic recovery was achieved and assess whether cooperation formed the basis for Europe’s long-term relationship with America after 1945. It will argue that the technical and managerial modernisation modelled on the US was at the root of the 1960s upturn in the major European economies.

EUROPE’S INFLATIONARY OF 1945

Post-war Goals in the Western World: Reconstruction, Peace and Modernisation

  • 1 D. Barjot, R. Baudouï, D. Voldman (dir), Les Reconstructions en Europe, 1945-49, Complexe/Mémorial (...)

3V-E Day brought the fighting and destructions to a close. Europe embarked on the difficult and slow process of reconstruction.1 Priority was given to rebuilding property and infrastructures and to restoring some sort of equilibrium to prices, foreign trade and national budgets, badly affected by the war. Building on the experience of the 1930s, Europe desperately tried to avoid a new economic crisis and a third world war. It hoped to participate into a global expansion through technology transfers, international investment and trade and accepted that peace could not be achieved without modernising both the industrialised and the developing world. In order to achieve these goals, European countries looked for doser international cooperation and growth. National income statistics were first recorded in 1940 in the United States and in 1945 in Britain. The time had come for a redefinition of GNP and for new growth theories. Economists such as Harrod and Domar built new economic growth models. Between 1913 and 1939, Western European countries had accounted for 20 to 25% of world production and for 30 to 40% of international trade. By comparison, the United States’ share was respectively of 20-30% and 10%. Trade produced economic growth by stimulating competition and economic cooperation. Europe’s port-war imports and exports played a key role in stimulating trade. But this model of economic growth was threatened by the development of communism in several European countries, including France and Italy. Communism was heralded as a political counter-model and became more attractive as many Europeans felt reconstruction was too slow and inflationist. American support became central to the European recovery for political reasons as much as for economic ones.

Inflation after 1914

  • 2 See appendix, series of price in detail, France/USA, 1938-74.

4Inflation may be defined as a sustained and substantial rise in the general level of prices. During the 19th century, inflation was virtually unknown. Existing records show no increase or decrease in excess of 20 to 40% above or below average prices for the century. Inflation developed in the 20th century and was multifaceted, ranging from the hyperinflation of the Weimar Republic (1918-1923) to the slower but sly phenomenon of the 1950s and 1960s. From 1938 to 1974,2 French prices were multiplied by 63 and American ones by 3.5. That meant that in the same period, annual average rates of inflation were respectively of 12% and 3.5%. The increase in French prices was 3 times higher in terms of annual average. Over 36 years, the result was that prices increased 18 times more in France as compared to the US.

5There were marked contrasts in Europe. Like Japan, France and Italy suffered from high inflation while the United Kingdom and Switzerland benefited from smaller price increases on the US model. Germany was at the cross-road, with low official rates of inflation but spiralling prices on the black market. It is worth noting that prices increased and decreased simultaneously in all seven countries, but with varying intensity. The coefficient of corrrelation between price fluctuations in France and the other six countries was always higher than 0.90, except for Switzerland (0.75). This did not necessarily mean that there was mutual influence, but there was at least similar variation.

6In the US, prices had doubled during World War I, but only risen by 27% during World War IL With constant or declining prices during the interwar period, the United States ended up in 1946 with prices at the level of 1920. This was still 1.8 times higher than 1914 though. French inflation was more or less marked but always present from 1914 to 1945, with the exception of five years of stability from 1926 to 1930 and decreasing prices during the 1930-to-1935 depression. By 1945, French prices were 28 times higher than in 1914. This increase was a direct result of two world wars. Prices were multiplied by 6 between 1914 and 1926 and by 4 between 1938 and 1945.

  • 3 SAEF, Papiers Pleven, 5 A 742, B 33 000-33 003. M.P. Chéuni, Inflation, Etat et opinion en France d (...)

7During the reconstruction that followed World War II, both the American and the French governments became increasingly concerned with inflationary pressures in Europe.3 Experts on both sides of the Atlantic warned of a looming inflation crisis and predicted that inflation could be worst than after World War I because of widespread destruction and shortages. This was compounded by threats of social unrest and strikes for wage increases in the face of the fall in real incomes. Recovery was also threatened by the disorganization of international trade and monetary Systems.

8All agreed on the diagnosis, but opinions diverged on how to tackle inflation. René Pleven, France’s then Finance Minister, advocated a neo-liberal policy, while Pierre Mendes France, the minister in charge of France’s economy, wanted more State intervention.

Evaluating Inflation and its Effects

  • 4 I. Fisher, The Making of Index Numbers, 1922.
  • 5 INSEE, Les statistiques de prix en France et en divers pays étrangers, Imprimerie Nat, 1953.

9Inflation was more than just a seasonal price increase. Fighting it implied a Sound understanding of its roots, its mechanisms and its effects. Price increases were measured using indexes developed by two German mathematicians, Laspeyres, in 1864, and Paasche in 1874 and subsequently improved by Irving Fisher, an American scholar.4 Price indexes measured the market value of goods and services consumed by households, weighted by the quantity supplied. The problem was that France’s measures were inadequate. Until 1949, food items accounted for 90% of the consumer price index in France and manufactured goods and services were virtually excluded, unlike the United States, where they had been included in the consumer price index since the interwar period.5 As a result, the French index reflected the rate of industrialisation, urbanisation and standards of living, but did not reflect the real rate of inflation. The word “inflation” was a medieval medical term that was borrowed at the beginning of the 20th century by British and American economists. Their research was then far more advance than that of their colleagues in Southern Europe. France restricted the term “inflation” to a rapid increase in the money supply, especially banknotes, what the man in the Street called “la vie chère” (the high cost of living).

  • 6 M.P. Chéuni, 1998, p 208-225. P. Biacabe, Analyses contemporaines de l’inflation, Bordeaux, Sirey, (...)
  • 7 I. Fisher, The Purchasing Power of Money, 1907, French translation, 1925.
  • 8 J.M. Keynes, How to Pay for the War ?, November-December 1940.

10During World War II, English and American economists refined inflation theory.6 The old quantitative theory, formulated before the 20th century and revised by Irving Fisher7 said that price levels reflected changes in the money supply. This was the theory endorsed by France’s economists during World War II. But in 1940, Keynes8 had warned that economic theory should take the disparities between supply and demand into account. The US price office and economists such as J.W. Angel, W. Salant, M. Friedman focused on these differences between supply and demand. This was the beginning of two new theories of inflation. Hansen, Galbraith and Meade proposed a new model based on demand inflation, while Haberler, Fellner and Samuelson articulated a new theory based on cost inflation.

11The diffusion of demand theory in continental Europe was slowed down by the widespread shortages of the immediate post-war. But it provided the theoretical basis behind France’s economic policy after 1947, from the Finance Ministry to Jean Monnet’s now famous Commissariat Général au Plan (Planning Committee). The cost inflation theory was less influential, partly because real costs were rising too fast to be evaluated correctly and partly because it pointed to wage increases as the major cause of inflation. François Perroux, a French economist, added a third model, labelled “structural inflation” (“Inflation par les Structurer”). Labour markets, public policies, budgets and lobbies, it argued, were responsible for this type of inflation. American economists became aware of this “sociopolitical” model but chose to leave it aside. This was an example of intellectual transatlantic exchanges in the political and economic sphere.

THE ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES IN EUROPE’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND RECONSTRUCTION TO 1949

The Failure of France’s Anti-inflationary Policy

12Between 1945 and 1950, American prices rose by 35%, an annual rate of 6%. In the same period, French prices increased by 550%, an annual rate of 36%. Inflation peaked in 1946 in France and in 1947 in the United States. Acute post-war inflation ended in 1947. Price stability was restored in most OEEC countries. In the case of the United States, they even fell by 1%. France followed the European pattern. Would inflation have been different without the American aid? This is a difficult question to answer. Prices in France remained high throughout the post-war years, contrary to what happened in Belgium, the Netherlands or Switzerland. On the one hand, one can safely conclude that American aid did not protect France from inflationary pressures. But France’s inflation was neither a long-term phenomenon nor an irreversible one. During the 19th century, the French franc had remained strong and was, together with the British pound, a key currency against the gold standard. French foreign trade ranked third or fourth in the world and France was the second biggest foreign investor. From 1914 to 1952, one can explain both price and currency volatility by external factors, such as World War I, reconstruction (1918 to 1926), social unrest and World War IL In 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, the French government, in line with other European governments, blocked all price increases and submitted production, transport and consumption to strict quotas. Changes in prices and wages were dependent on government approval. Quotas were also introduced in foreign trade and Financial transfers. Direct and indirect taxes rose and public borrowing financed increasing budget deficits.

13In Europe, all countries at war followed the same economic policy, be they democracies (United Kingdom, France, Belgium), dictatorships (Germany, Italy), or neutral countries (Switzerland, Sweden, Spain). The United States themselves introduced a war economic board in 1942. But as soon as the war ended, pressure from corporations and consumers brought an immediate end to rationing and federal price Controls. Interestingly, the Truman administration never required European governments to follow suit. It realised that widespread shortages of goods and services in Europe made this impossible. Rationing continued until 1947 in Belgium, 1948-49 in France and 1951-52 in Britain. The existence of a thriving black market, increasing pressures for wage increases (France in the Fall of 1947 and into 1948) and the advent of the Cold War all contributed to the failure of post-war economic policies.

Prioritising European Requests to the United States

  • 9 G. Bossuat, La France, l’aide américaine et la construction européenne, 1944-1954, CHEFF, 1992, 2 v (...)

14In the months that followed the end of World War II, Europe’s demand in term of goods and services vastly outstripped supply. In 1947, European governments turned to the United States for Financial and material assistance. The 1947 Marshall Plan was America’s response to European demands for aid.9 In exchange for credit, Europe promised to tackle price rises and implement economic recovery programs. France, for example, was instructed to lower its inflation rate of 60%. In 1947, the French Planning Commission (Commissariat Général au Plan) launched the Monnet Plan implemented between 1947 and 1952. It was the First of a series of five-year plans aimed at improving the nation’s productivity through price stabilisation. During the war, Jean Monnet, the newly appointed head of the Planning Commission, had been influential in the reform of American national income accounting. In 1947, he also chaired the National Budget Commission in charge of estimating the gap between supply and demand and the likely future rate of inflation.

  • 10 FMI, Finances et développement, June 1990, Pourquoi la stabilisation italienne a réussi ?
  • 11 FMI, Finances et développement, Match 1990, Une réforme monétaire radicale : le cas de l'Allemagne (...)

15In December 1947, René Mayer, the French Finance Minister, proposed a balanced budget for the fiscal year 1948 and called for adjustments in wages and a relaxation of price Controls. This budget, though, cannot be considered as a pure product of the American school of thinking. For one thing, the United States forbade such short-term measures. For another, the American administration did not full-heartedly endorse the plan, annoyed that it was by the many changes to the Franc exchange rate between January 1948 to September 1949. French prices eventually evened out in November 1948. American aid no doubt helped the French economy. The French plan was implemented in between the Italian plan, introduced in May 1947, and the German plan, produced in June 1948. The French government, made up of a coalition of Liberals, Christian Democrats and right-wing Socialists, was pro-American and took advantage of American political support. Italy and Germany tried other paths to economic recovery. Italy10 produced a balanced budget based on strict monetary policy by the Bank of Italy. The German government11 also wanted a balanced budget and changed its currency from reichmarks to deutschmarks to lighten its debt burden. The United States gave help to every European country that asked for it, but it was up to each country to chose how this help would be channelled back into the economy.

The anti-inflationary effects of the Marshall Plan

  • 12 G. Bossuat, L’Europe occidentale à l'heure américaine, Complexe, 1992, p 167.

16The Marshall Plan12 was the cornerstone of the American effort in the fight against inflation in Europe. The flow of dollars and goods played an important role. The United States contributed between 2 and 4% of the Europe’s GNP. France received a hefty 20% of total American aid and used this money wisely. Most of the credit went toward long-term investment, with 44% going to projects advocated by the Monnet Plan. Only a small amount went to repairing the past. Reconstruction projects received 15% and 5% were earmarked for reducing public debt.

17The European Payments Union, created in September 1950 under the OEEC umbrella, was another positive consequence of the Marshall Plan. Up to then, conversions into other European currencies was impossible. Thus trade could not resume between European countries. Robert Triffin (1911-1993), a Belgian economist, advised the OEEC and helped it develop a System of currency conversion restricted to commercial purposes, with the possibility of credits. The reserve was based on 3% of the dollars granted by the Marshall Plan. There is no doubt that the European Payments Union stimulated European trade and contributed to price stability in Europe.

18The Marshall Plan, helped by intensive advertising, enticed corporations, consumers and governments into using modem management techniques to increase productivity. Stable prices were a precondition for modernisation. Inflation was synonymous with underdevelopment. Nevertheless, private funds from the United States did not flow into France at the same time as public funds. The years 1947 to 1951 saw direct economic exchanges from the United States to France soar.

TRANSATLANTIC COOPERATION AND LONG-TERM PRICE STABILITY (1950-1970)

  • 13 Price increase ratio between the USA and France was 3.09 from 1939-1945 and again 3.51 from 1945-19 (...)

19Between 1950 and 1965, prices remained stable with the exception of the Korean War years. French prices increased by 58% from 1950 to 1958, an annual rate of 5.8%. American prices rose by 20%, an annual increase of 3.3%. Price fluctuations were in phase in both countries.13 Was this due to the exchange of goods and services, to economic cooperation or to modernisation?

Increased Productivity and Competition Produce Stable Prices

  • 14 A. Maddison, L’économie mondiale, 1820-1992, OCDE, 1995, p 46.
  • 15 L.A. Vincent, Le progrès technique en France depuis cent ans, SGF, 1945.

20French levels of productivity fell from 56 to 45 between 1913 and 1950 if one takes American labour productivity per hour as 100.14 It then started to catch up, reaching 76 in 1973. In the immediate post-war years, France did not fund research into productivity, even though corporations strived to introduce specialised manufacturing processes.15 The concept of productivity came to the attention of both managers and politicians in 1949, with the arrival of the Marshall Plan. The French Planning Commission established productivity committees chaired by jean Fourastié, an economist. Between 1953 and 1957, the Hirsch Plan called for productivity gains in all areas of the economy. French productivity task forces were sent to the United States and played a key role in changing people’s mindset. A law passed in July 1948 enabled 2600 people to go to the United States for a period of two months and observe the use of modem techniques at first hand. These task forces were financed by both the French and the American government and by the French Confederation of CEOs (Confédération Nationale du Patronat Français).

  • 16 SAEF (Archives Economiques et Financières, France), B 18 680, INSEE, Dispersion des rapports entre (...)
  • 17 R. Nathan, Commission pour l’étude des disparités entre les prixfrançais et les prix étrangers, Rap (...)

21In France, government16 and business associations developed accurate costing methods by business activity and by firm. In 1953, Louis Franck, then director of the Price Survey Department of the Finance Ministry), gave several speeches on the topic “Why Costs are Too High?”. A national committee17 compared French costs with those of other countries. It concluded that France’s costs were high, due to old and outdated equipment, to protectionism both at home and abroad as well as to the higher cost of raw material imports and social overheads (subsidies, national health care insurance). They turned to America for ways to increase production output and expand trade without endangering social benefits.

  • 18 Conseil Économique et Social, Études et Travaux, Contrôle des ententes professionnelles, 1950, p. 3 (...)

22The modernisation of French competition laws moved slowly during the Fifties. Since the Le Chapelier law of 1791, that prohibited price fixing amongst manufacturers, only eleven or twelve companies had been prosecuted in a century and a half. This was despite the fact that the law had been tightened in 1926. In 1950, The French Social and Economic Council (Conseil Economique et Social) estimated that overall cartels controlled between 5 and 30% of production depending on the industry.18 Following the example of the Sherman Act passed in the United States in 1890, France drafted a similar law on 18 July 1952, followed by a directive on 9 August 1953. It prohibited all price fixing, sales quotas and minimum price fixing. Louis Franck, Jean Monnet and René Mayer had all spent time in the United States between 1940 and 1945 and were well acquainted with American price legislation. In spite of their efforts, the French Anti-trust Commission (Commission Technique des Ententes) did not prosecute more than five or six firms per year and amongst those only a handful were condemned by the courts. In the end, it was left to department stores and supermarkets modelled on American retailers to bring real competition and push prices down.

Increased Cooperation to bring stability to the International Monetary System

23From 1931 to 1936, several major countries devaluated their currencies. That crippled the Gold Exchange Standard of 1922. The United States invited 44 nations to Bretton Woods (Mass.) in July 1944 to think up a new international monetary System. The result was the brain child of an American economist, Harry White. Exchange rates were fixed against both gold and the dollar. More safeguards were built into the Gold Exchange Standard, which had existed since 1922, including a variation band of no more than 1% for fixed exchange rates and an international reserve fond financed by member States. It granted short-term loans to countries with punctual imbalances in foreign payments. Currency convertibility was restored gradually between 1944 and 1949. The British government reintroduced the pound’s convertibility7 in July 1947, but was forced to suspend it a month later.

24France was viewed as an acceptable but uncertain partner in the new International Monetary System. Between 1944 and 1945, it postponed the announcement of a fixed exchange rate because inflation was increasing too rapidly to sustain the rate they had decided upon. In December 1945, France finally fixed its exchange rate at 119.10 francs per dollar. France accepted the demands of the IMF and contributed 7% to the IMF reserve. In the end, France was forced to change the exchange rate several times between January 1948 and September 1949. In September 1949, it devaluated the franc to 350 francs per dollar. In spite of a new decline against the dollar and the pound between 1952 and 1956, the French government refused to devalue the franc again. Antoine Pinay, the rightwing liberal Prime Minister, made price stability the basis for his economic policy. He froze prices, indexed public loan repayments on gold prices and balanced his budget. For four years, the French franc was overvalued and suffered from rumours of devaluation. Inflation creeped back in 1956 and 1957, due to the Algerian War, the Suez crisis and rising wages. In 1958, the Bourgès-Maunoury administration postponed devaluation again using a complex System of foreign currency subventions. From 1945 to 1958, France avoided realistic exchange rates on the American model thanks to the fact that the franc was a non-convertible currency.

A Western Europe and American Economic Standards

  • 19 M.P. Chéuni, Histoire du franc français au XXe siècle, Paris, Picard, 2001, p. 250-263.

25From 1958 to 1974, prices increased at virtually the same rate in France (2.17 rimes) and in the United States (1.70 times). Inflation lingered at 15%. The French government,19 under the leadership of General de Gaulle, introduced an anti-inflation plan in December 1958. A committee that included the Finance Minister Antoine Pinay and the economist and Treasury Secretary Jacques Rueff drew up a plan. It called for a balanced budget, the suppression of income indexation and for a 17% devaluation of the franc. The “old franc” was replaced by a “new franc”. One hundred “old” francs were now worth 1 “new” franc. This discrete move reversed 45 years of inflation, with prices returning to the level of 1920. The exchange rate of $1 = 4.93 FF was close to the pre World War I rate ($1 = 5.15 FF).

  • 20 M.D. Bordo, D. Simard, E. White, La France et le Système monétaire international institué par Brett (...)

26Against all odds, the General de Gaulle and his administration wanted to become a model for the United States through price and monetary stability.20 The Forties and Fifties saw a penury of dollars, but this was reversed in the 1960s. Dollars became too abundant due to the deficit of the balance of payment, a decrease in American gold reserves, plentiful credit and the start of Vietnam War. In his famous dilemma, Triffin stressed the fact that the dollar and gold standard had its own limits. A Gaullist France criticised the fundamentals of the International Monetary System and proposed some reforms between 1964 and 1966. By then, France was seating on vast reserves of gold and foreign currency and had one of the strongest positions in the IMF. The IMF even provided short-term loans in French francs. Starting in 1961, the French finance minister was responsible for ensuring the stability of the international monetary System at the annual sessions of the IMF. The American model laid the groundwork for the French policy of stable prices. France was helped by the strength of the German deutschmark, which had to be revalued in 1961. This French counter-model to the United States broke down after the French crisis in the spring of 1968. Overall, French policy-makers saw American stability as a proof that monetary stability was possible.

CONCLUSION

27The United States wanted a return to worldwide price and currency stability. In order to achieve these goals, the United States provided financial and intellectual aid to Europe. This aid was aimed at 1) increasing global economic supplies 2) stimulating international trade, 3) implementing an international monetary System, 4) increasing cooperation and dependence, and 5) providing moral and material support for the war-ravaged countries of Western Europe. Exchanges were considered the key to economic stability and went beyond the mere economic sphere. They included the resumption of international trade under the American wing, the transfers of funds and raw materials through the Marshall Plan and straightforward technological transfers. But it also included intellectual cooperation on productivity task forces, inflation theory, national income statistics, competition theory and financial organisation (IMS, European Payments Union). The French wanted to increase productivity while preserving social benefits. From 1944 to 1958, American help was key to restoring price and currency stability to prices and currencies.

Bibliographie

***

American Economic Review, discussions about inflationary gap, June 1942 (W.A. Salant and M. Friedman), June and September 1943 (C. Warbuton), December 1943 (G. Ensley & R. Goode), June 1944 (C. Warbuton).

Barjot D., Baudouï R., Voldmann D. 1997. Les Reconstructions en Europe, 1945-49, Complexe/Mémorial de Caen, 341 p.

Biacabe R 1962. Analyses contemporaines de l’inflation, Bordeaux, Sirey.

Bossuat G. 1992. E’Europe occidentale à l’heure américaine, Paris, Complexe.

Bossuat G. 1992. La France, l’aide américaine et la construction européenne, 1944-1954 Paris CHEFF, 2 vol.

Brown A.J. 1955. The Great Inflation, 1931-51, Oxford University Press.

Cagan P., Friedman M. 1956. Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money, University of Chicago Press.

Chélini M.P. 2001. Histoire du franc français au XXe siècle, Picard.

Chélini M.P. 1998. Inflation, Etat et opinion en France de 1944 à 1952, CHEFF, Imprimerie Nationale.

Comité pour l’Histoire Economique et Financière de la France, Du Franc Poincaré à l’Ecu, Colloque Bercy, December 1992, 1993.

Hirsch F., Goldthorpe J.H. (eds) 1968. The Political Economy of Inflation, Cambridge, nota: Maier, C.S., The Politics of Inflation in the Twentieth Century.

Hansen B. 1951. A Study in the Theory of Inflation, London, Allen & Unwin, XIII-262 p.

Maddison A. 1995. E’économie mondiale, 1820-1992, Paris, OCDE.

Margairaz M. 1991. L’État, les finances et l’économie, Histoire d’une conversion, 1932-52, Paris, CHEFF, 2 vol.

Annexes

Appendix 1. Consumer Price Indexes International Comparison 1938-1952

r = correlation coefficient between price fluctuations in France and six other countries.
Sources:
INSEE, Annuaire Rétrospectif de la France, 1948-88, Imprimerie Nationale, 1990, p. 286.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1999, p. 882.
Liesner T., Economic Statistics, 1900-1983, The Economist & Fact on files publications, Oxford - New York, 1985, p. 23 (UK), p. 116 (Japan).
Istituto Centrale de Statistica, Sommario de Statistiche Storiche dell’ltalia, Roma, 1976, p. 187, 1861-1975, table 98.
Office Fédéral de la Statistique, Annuaire Statistique de la Suisse, edition 1990, p. 128

Appendix 2. Consumer Price Indexes United States and France 1953-1974

France

USA

1952

2437

188

1953

2408

190

1954

2402

191

1955

2429

190

1956

2475

193

1957

2541

200

1958

2925

205

1959

3105

207

1960

3218

210

1961

3323

212

1962

3484

215

1963

3651

217

1964

3777

219

1965

3871

224

1966

3975

230

1967

4083

237

1968

4268

247

1969

4543

260

1970

4780

275

1971

5043

287

1972

5354

297

1973

5746

315

1974

6354

350

Appendix 3. Price Increases By Period United States and France 1938-1974

Notes

1 D. Barjot, R. Baudouï, D. Voldman (dir), Les Reconstructions en Europe, 1945-49, Complexe/Mémorial de Caen, 1997, 341 p. Archives Nationales, Reconstructions et Modernisation, La France après les ruines, 1918... 1945..., Catalogue d’exposition, 1991, AN, 310 p.

2 See appendix, series of price in detail, France/USA, 1938-74.

3 SAEF, Papiers Pleven, 5 A 742, B 33 000-33 003. M.P. Chéuni, Inflation, Etat et opinion en France de 1944 à 1952, CHEFF, Imp. Nat., 1998, p. 257-281. See also M. Margairaz, L’État, les finances et l’économie, Histoire d’une conversion, 1932-52, CHEFF, 1991.

4 I. Fisher, The Making of Index Numbers, 1922.

5 INSEE, Les statistiques de prix en France et en divers pays étrangers, Imprimerie Nat, 1953.

6 M.P. Chéuni, 1998, p 208-225. P. Biacabe, Analyses contemporaines de l’inflation, Bordeaux, Sirey, 1962.

7 I. Fisher, The Purchasing Power of Money, 1907, French translation, 1925.

8 J.M. Keynes, How to Pay for the War ?, November-December 1940.

9 G. Bossuat, La France, l’aide américaine et la construction européenne, 1944-1954, CHEFF, 1992, 2 vol.

10 FMI, Finances et développement, June 1990, Pourquoi la stabilisation italienne a réussi ?

11 FMI, Finances et développement, Match 1990, Une réforme monétaire radicale : le cas de l'Allemagne en 1948.

12 G. Bossuat, L’Europe occidentale à l'heure américaine, Complexe, 1992, p 167.

13 Price increase ratio between the USA and France was 3.09 from 1939-1945 and again 3.51 from 1945-1950, but drops back down to 1.31 from 1950-1958 and is 1.27 from 1958-1974.

14 A. Maddison, L’économie mondiale, 1820-1992, OCDE, 1995, p 46.

15 L.A. Vincent, Le progrès technique en France depuis cent ans, SGF, 1945.

16 SAEF (Archives Economiques et Financières, France), B 18 680, INSEE, Dispersion des rapports entre prix de gros français et prix de gros étrangers, Note confidentielle, December 1951.

17 R. Nathan, Commission pour l’étude des disparités entre les prixfrançais et les prix étrangers, Rapport général, Imprimerie Nationale, 1954, 57 p.

18 Conseil Économique et Social, Études et Travaux, Contrôle des ententes professionnelles, 1950, p. 30-45.

19 M.P. Chéuni, Histoire du franc français au XXe siècle, Paris, Picard, 2001, p. 250-263.

20 M.D. Bordo, D. Simard, E. White, La France et le Système monétaire international institué par Bretton Woods (1958-68), in Du Franc Poincaré à l’Ecu, Colloque CHEFF, 1993, p. 639-671.

Table des illustrations

Légende r = correlation coefficient between price fluctuations in France and six other countries.Sources:INSEE, Annuaire Rétrospectif de la France, 1948-88, Imprimerie Nationale, 1990, p. 286.U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1999, p. 882.Liesner T., Economic Statistics, 1900-1983, The Economist & Fact on files publications, Oxford - New York, 1985, p. 23 (UK), p. 116 (Japan).Istituto Centrale de Statistica, Sommario de Statistiche Storiche dell’ltalia, Roma, 1976, p. 187, 1861-1975, table 98.Office Fédéral de la Statistique, Annuaire Statistique de la Suisse, edition 1990, p. 128
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