Do price controls work to curb inflation? We look at WWII. : Planet Money : The Indicator from Planet Money Inflation reached a 40-year high today of 7%! There's been a storm of debate about an old anti-inflation policy: Price controls. So we dust off the history books and see what happened in World War II.

The beef over price controls

The beef over price controls

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Daderot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Menu with ceiling prices set by the Office of Price Administration (World War II), exhibited in the Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Daderot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Inflation is top of mind for millions of Americans. As prices continue to rise, some are debating on whether or not price controls should be put on the table.

Today on The Indicator, we talk about price controls and the time the U.S. set up an agency to regulate prices during World War II.

Further reading:

Isabella Weber – Opinion piece on The Guardian on price controls, which kick-started the debate

Adam Tooze – Summary of the debate on price controls

Hugh Rockoff – Drastic Measures: A History of Wage & Price Controls in the United States

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