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in a postwar economy, the switch to the production of civilian output. Reconversion implies structural shifts in production, capital investments, and foreign trade turnover and, in most cases, the implementation of a monetary reform and a change in the legal regulation of the economy. The restoration and reconversion of the economy are concurrent processes. During reconversion there is a temporary decline in the absolute level of production.
In the capitalist countries reconversion is carried out spontaneously, in the context of an acute competitive struggle. Moreover, it is accompanied by rising unemployment associated with the decline in military orders. The monopolies maintain high prices for consumer goods, making it possible to pass on to the working people the expenditures associated with reconversion. After World War II (1939–45) the reconversion and restoration of the economies of Western Europe were accomplished primarily under the Marshall Plan, which led to the intensified export of American capital and the strengthening of US political influence. In the capitalist countries reconversion of the economy, which proved to be partial, was accompanied by militarization.
In the USSR and the other socialist countries the transition to a peacetime economy was made in conformity with a plan and, despite the colossal scale of wartime devastation, with minimal losses to the economy and in the shortest possible time.
A. A. KHANDRUEV