Cover: A Theory of Price Control: With a New Introduction by the Author, from Harvard University PressCover: A Theory of Price Control in E-DITION

A Theory of Price Control

With a New Introduction by the Author

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674333048

Publication Date: 09/02/1980

81 pages


Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

With our national economy in disarray, it is natural to look for guidance to those who successfully controlled inflation in the past. No one has been more successful at this difficult task than John Kenneth Galbraith, who had a leading role in designing the system of price controls and who went on to administer them during World War II. As Galbraith says in the new introduction to this book he wrote on his wartime experience, “Inflation is not part of the memory or history of World War II.” And had the controls not been lifted prematurely soon after the war, the subsequent bulge in prices, Galbraith suggests, would have been fairly modest.

This successful use of price controls, Galbraith argues, was due to three things. In the first place, the major part of the economy, consisting as it did of industries with few large employers and few large trade unions, was relatively easy, administratively, to control. Second, the excess capacity of plant and labor force resulting from the Great Depression permitted supply to increase greatly, thus easing the pressure on price ceilings. Third, people had tremendous confidence in the future purchasing power of the dollar; and since they could not purchase civilian goods, they were more than willing to work and save for the day when they could.

Although the last two conditions no longer hold in this country, many of the lessons learned from the wartime experience and recounted in this unique book could be applied, with profit and instruction, to our current difficulties.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy, by Sharon T. Strocchia, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Sharon Strocchia, author of Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy

As part of Women’s History Month, we spoke with Sharon T. Strocchia about her new book, Forgotten Healers: Women and the Pursuit of Health in Late Renaissance Italy, which uncovers the crucial role women played in the great transformations of medical science and health care that accompanied the Italian Renaissance. Your research demonstrates that women in Renaissance Italy played a major role in providing health care.

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.