Spree, Reinhard (Juni 2004): About the Relative Efficiency of the Nazi Work Creation Programs. Münchener Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Beiträge (VWL) 2004-15




The proposed paper will discuss the controversy on Germany's economic recovery after the Depression and the role Nazi work creation programs had therein. Economic data suggests evidence of a cyclical turning point of the economic crisis in the summer of 1932 with some leading indicators reaching the turning point already in January 1932, which I propose to discuss. Data of the years 1933/34 support this argumentation. On this empirical basis the impact of Hitler's work creation programs have to be re-evaluated: these programs were not the causes of Germany’s economic recovery of but only supported a self-sustaining cyclical upswing to 1936. The basis of that upswing is to be seen, as Knut Borchardt has already argued 12 years ago, in the "normalisation" of the structural relations between factor prices and productivity, i. e. the improvement of supply conditions and profit chances.