Economies often must adjust to periods of rapid transformation, particularly during wartime. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), with the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, is soliciting papers that study the economic impacts of World War II on the U.S. economy. The war transformed the U.S. economy in the short term, re-allocating resources across industries, revamping the labor force, and sharply expanding the government’s role in the economy. It also had many longer-term influences, including on economic geography, labor markets, and innovation. The shift to military production early in the war, and the return to a civilian economy in the post-war years, can offer important lessons on the way households and firms respond to major economic shocks such as the recent pandemic-related disruptions of the global economy.
This project, organized by William Collins (Vanderbilt University and NBER), Andreas Ferrara (University of Pittsburgh), and Price Fishback (University of Arizona and NBER), will draw together researchers from a range of sub-fields in economics, including labor economics, economic history, macroeconomics, industrial organization, and public finance. The organizers welcome proposals for papers examining the short- and long-range impact of World War II on the U.S. economy, as well as papers that are close to completion. They encourage submissions of both empirical and theoretical research, papers by researchers with and without NBER affiliations, and submissions from scholars who are early in their careers and who are members of groups that are under-represented in the economics profession.
To be considered for inclusion on the program, proposals or papers must be uploaded by midnight EST on February 15, 2023 to:
Papers that are selected for presentation at the conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of Explorations in Economic History. Please do not submit papers that have already been accepted for publication elsewhere, or that would not be available for potential inclusion in the special issue. Authors chosen to present papers will be notified by March 31, 2023.
The organizers will convene a zoom pre-conference for authors of selected papers in June or July 2023. There will be an in-person conference, with a hybrid component, in Cambridge, MA on Thursday-Friday, April 4-5, 2024. The NBER will cover conference-related travel costs for up to two authors per paper, and for invited discussants. Others are welcome to attend at their own expense or to participate in the conference remotely. Questions about this conference may be addressed to email@example.com.