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War Finance and Inflation in Britain and Germany, 1914-1918

T. Balderston
The Economic History Review
Vol. 42, No. 2 (May, 1989), pp. 222-244
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Economic History Society
DOI: 10.2307/2596203
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2596203
Page Count: 23
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War Finance and Inflation in Britain and Germany, 1914-1918
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Abstract

The contention that German war finance relied much more on borrowing and less on taxation than British is fallacious. The British income tax was not a great 'engine of war finance', because toleration of it had rested on its (alleged) power to effect reductions in the total burden of taxation: it had created an environment where most taxpayers expected to be taxed lightly. The true reason why the war generated less inflationary pressure in Britain was the power of the money market to absorb floating debt. In this way (as in 1929-31) the City benefited the economy.

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