This is a detailed archive-based study of the economic planning of the Attlee governments, in which the author seeks to analyse the interaction between the decisions of central planners and the micro-economic effects of these decisions. Throughout the book, Martin Chick pays particular attention to the level, pattern and quality of fixed capital investment. At the same time, there is a continuous concern with the struggle between politicians, economists and industrialists over the mix of pricing mechanisms and administrative orders which were to be used in this period. This struggle permeated all discussions over matters such as the organisation of nationalised industries, the monopoly structure of nationalised industries, the allocation of resources and the promotion of higher productivity. The author also asks what impact, if any, economic planning had on the productivity performance of the UK economy.
'This book is essential reading not only for anyone with an interest in the 1945-51 period but also for anyone who wishes to learn about some of the pitfalls of economic planning.' Economic History Review