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WWII Blockade of Britain, Rationing, Agriculture, etc.

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Mike Ruff posted on Thu, Nov 1 2012 8:22 AM

So I've been watching a documentary series called "Wartime Farm" from the BBC.  It's quite enjoyable (as were the previous ones: Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, etc).

Wartime Farm of course deals constantly with the rationing, the regulations and such imposed by the central agricultural planners in London, etc.

Are there any good sources on the period from the Austrian perspective?  Mark Thornton of course has some good work on the Economics of the War Between the States, which gives us some analysis of the effects of blockades and central government planning.  

It seems like there ought to be some work specifically on the UK during WWII--does anyone know of any good articles or books?


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The whole point of wartime rationing is to limit the supply of certain things to the non-military part of the polity. If the government just starts placing huge orders for those things (at least compared to peacetime), the prices of those things will rise (ceteris paribus) because the effective demand has risen and further because the effective supply may not be able to keep up. Also, from what I understand, rationing is typically not done without price controls.

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Marko replied on Thu, Nov 1 2012 4:27 PM

A little tangential to what you're asking for but its all I can do to try to help: Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II

It tells the story of the Bengal Famine of 1942/43 in British India. But I also learned things about Britain proper reading it, like for example that the British government actually built up a giant stockpile of food on the Home Isles during the war intended for post-war consumption.

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