Concentration of Production

September 14, 1942

Report Outline
War Economy and Industrial Concentration
British and German Concentration Programs
American Concentration Plans: Postwar Prospects

War Economy and Industrial Concentration

Concentration in Civilian Goods and War Industries

Shortages of labor, raw materials, and factory space and the urgent necessity of making the most effective use of all available resources have forced Germany and Great Britain to adopt drastic programs of industrial concentration. Similar factors are now operating in the United States to produce a like result.

In Great Britain concentration to date has been limited to civilian goods industries. Many of the factories which formerly turned out civilian goods have been converted to the production of war materials; others have been utilized for storage space; still others have been closed entirely. In general, the larger factories have been converted to the manufacture of war goods, leaving a greatly reduced number of small plants operating on full-time schedules to produce essential civilian items. The contraction program has eliminated hundreds of small firms in the distributive trades in addition to the thousands previously forced out of business by rationing. Germany is applying concentration to armament as well as to civilian industries and the indications are that Britain will soon adopt a similar program.

War Concentration and Peacetime Rationalization

Basically, but with important differences in application, wartime concentration of industry is an intensification of the peacetime process of “rationalization” fostered for many years by certain segments of industry in advanced manufacturing nations. The factors determining current concentration programs stem from the war needs of nations, whereas the factors determining peacetime rationalization grew out of the competitive needs of industry.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World WarII Raw Materials
Oct. 17, 1942  Silver in the War Effort
Oct. 03, 1942  European Food Resources
Sep. 14, 1942  Concentration of Production
Aug. 01, 1942  Rubber Supplies and Replacements
Jun. 05, 1942  Access to Raw Materials
Oct. 30, 1941  Enforcement of World Peace
Sep. 04, 1940  Problems of Tin and Rubber Supply
Feb. 08, 1940  Economic Weapons in the European War
Defense Industry
Manufacturing and Industrial Production
U.S. at War: World War II