Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

O. Fred Holley

Committee Members

Stan G. Jensen, T. Alexander Smit


There is a general consensus that the most recent attempt at incomes policy in Great Britain was unsuccessful. In this thesis I shall attempt to analyze and evaluate the policy with an emphasis on the particular features of the policy to which its lack of success may be attributed.

Chapter I examines the factors which first made such a policy seem to be an appealing panacea for all of Great Britain’s economic problems; specifically the economic conditions prior to the Labor Government’s ascension to power in 1964 are analyzed.

Chapter II examines some early attempts at incomes policy with an emphasis on factors lacking in these policies that were included in the policy under discussion.

Chapter III summarizes the details of incomes policy as stated in the pertinent Government policy papers.

Chapter IV examines the structural features of the British system of collective bargaining rendering the type of incomes policy devised ineffectual; specifically, the post-war tendency towards decentralized bargaining is discussed.

Chapter V analyzes relationships between the Labor Party and the trade union organization as these relationships pertain to incomes policy.

Chapter VI examines the various exceptions to incomes policy which were instituted to promote long range goals. These exceptions were designed to encourage measures that were desirable in their own right, but may have been promoted more effectively in a manner other than through exceptions to an incomes policy. It is suggested that these exceptions may have contributed to the failure of the incomes policy.

Chapter VII traces the evolution of incomes policy from a voluntary policy to a statutory wage-price freeze and back to a peculiar hybrid of voluntary policy backed by statutory delay powers.

Chapter VIII evaluates incomes policy in terms of its success in achieving its initial goals.

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