After the outbreak of war in 1914 and the subsequent blockade implemented by British navy, the German economy faced serious food shortages leading to famine-like conditions, especially towards the end of the war. As a response to these shortages, the German authorities introduced and implemented socialist policies such as price ceilings and food rations. This study focuses on the inefficient use of high-quality foodstuffs by members of lower social strata by discussing consumer decisions during the First World War from a microeconomic perspective. The German rationing system provided small, but valuable – measured by black market prices – quantities of superior foodstuffs. Especially meat could have been traded on flourishing black markets for greater quantities of inferior staple foods such as bread and potatoes. In this paper I argue that a more efficient use of rations by the poor could have improved their nutritional situation.
|Journal||Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
- ANTHROPOMETRICS; BLOCKADE; FAMINE; FIRST WORLD WAR; GERMANY; HEIGHT
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)