Austria in the Nazi economy: Interlude or transition?
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
According to conventional wisdom, Austrian economic development experienced a sort of interlude during the German annexation from 1938 to 1945. The story goes that ambitious attempts of economic build-up (?Aufbau?) by the Nazi regime turned out as sheer propaganda for the one part and as lost investments due to war-related destructions for the other part. This argument rests on a narrow notion of economic development in purely technical terms (e.g. total factor productivity). In contrast, this paper argues for widening the perspective to include both technical and institutional aspects. It compares three economic sectors central to the German war effort: agriculture, industry and finance. Though the results vary by sector, it turns out that Nazi rule transformed the institutional arrangement of the Austrian economy, thereby shaping postwar development pathways. This institutional (rather than technical) transition is most evident in the realm of agriculture that was incorporated in a state-led framework of farm management according to racial-productivist principles.