Interwar Unemployment in International Perspective

Parallels are often drawn between unemployment in the 1930s and the 1980s yet, with the exception of the UK and US, the interwar experience has not received the detailed analysis necessary to make such comparisons. This volume, based on a conference held at Harvard University, was organized by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the Harvard Center for International Affairs, with sponsorship by the NATO Scientific Affairs Division. The volume brings together leading economic and social historians to analyse unemployment in the industrialized economies during the 1930s. It breaks new ground in examining interwar unemployment from a broad international perspective and by using a variety of analytical techniques to explore previously unused microeconomic data sets.
The volume examines the macroeconomic causes of unemployment across a range of countries; the incidence of unemployment by age, sex, industry, occupation and region; the distribution of the unemployment burden through temporary and permanent lay-offs and long-term unemployment; and the effects of relief programmes and other labour market initiatives. Two introductory papers analyse interwar unemployment from a cross-country perspective; nine country studies follow, exploring the experience of individual countries in greater depth.


Hatton, T and B Eichengreen (eds) (1988), ‘Interwar Unemployment in International Perspective‘, CEPR Press, Paris & London.