Post war British economic policy and house-building
Macroeconomic policy frameworks followed by governments have definite impacts on all sectors of the economy including the housing sector. Post Second World War the British government was still recovering from the aftermath of the war and was dealing with recurrent political and economic failures. The government responded to these crises by following a ‘stop-go’ policy of demand management. The policy entailed raising taxes, cutting government expenditure, and reducing demand in order to slow down the growth of the economy – the ‘stop’phase.It was felt that as soon as economic activity had fallen to a particular level and the balance of payments had improved, the entire process could be reversed by cutting taxes and stimulating demand – the ‘go’ phase.
What were the crucial elements in the implementation of this policy and what was the impact? A recent paper published in May 2019 in the Economic History Reviewby Peter. M. Scott and James. T. Walker finds that a crucial but covert element of the ‘stop-go’ policy was the policy of restricting private and public-sector house-building.