Statistics and the German State, 1900-1945

Statistics and the German State, 1900-1945 : The Making of Modern Economic Knowledge

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Tooze provides an interpretation of the dramatic period of statistical innovation between 1900 and the end of World War II. At the turn of the century, virtually none of the economic statistics that we take for granted today were available. By 1944, the entire repertoire of modern economic statistics was being put to work in wartime economic management. As this book reveals, the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich were in the forefront of statistical innovation in the interwar decades. New ways of measuring the economy were inspired both by contemporary developments in macroeconomic theory and the needs of government. The Weimar Republic invested heavily in macroeconomic research. Under the Nazi regime, these statistical tools were to provide the basis for a radical experiment in economic planning. Based on the German example, this book presents the case for a more wide-ranging reconsideration of the history of modern economic knowledge.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 334 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 22mm | 660g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9 Tables, unspecified; 2 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 0521803187
  • 9780521803182
  • 2,200,855

Table of contents

List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Glossary and abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Official statistics and the crisis of the Wilhelmine state; 2. The Republic's new numbers, 1918-23; 3. Weimar's macroeconomic statistics, 1924-29; 4. The crisis of Weimar's statistical establishment, 1930-3; 5. Statistics and the 'Strong State', 1933-6; 6. The radicalization of the Nazi regime and the death of official statistics, 1936-9; 7. World War II and the return of macroeconomics; Conclusion; Appendix: Wagemann's national economic account - explanatory notes; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'This is a book of unusual originality and sophistication. In the burgeoning literature of history of statistics, it is one of the first and unmistakably the best to focus on the production and use of economic numbers ... He provides wonderful insights into the circumstances of the German economy during this traumatic era. In short, he makes the history of economics and of statistics speak to central questions of the historical development of state and economy in Germany ... a work of impressive historical scholarship, a skilful disinterment of issues from a much-worked historical field ... This is a superb book, which deserves to be issued in paperback so it can be widely read.' Ted Porter, Journal of Economic History 'This important and interesting book will be of great value not only to discussions of German political economy in the first half of the twentieth century but also to debates about economic knowledge and how it develops ... extraordinarily ambitious ... compelling reading.' Harold James, Business History Review '... an original and important book ... a very readable book, stimulating, indeed exciting to the very end.' Knut Borchardt, Historische Zeitschrift '... a very impressive first book.' Roger Middelton, History of European Ideas 'It has been years since I last read a book that opened up such neglected vistas. However assessed, the first half of this book, particularly, should be ... mandatory reading for everyone interested in the history of economic thought ...' Mark Perlman, 'This is an important book ... he provides what is doubtlessly the best existing account of Germany's experimenting with economic policy after World War 1.' Financial History Review
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