Fields of interest:
American economic and business history; 20th century U.S. politics and policy; history of economic thought
Samuel Milner is a historian of the American economy. In several articles and a forthcoming book, Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Business, Government, and Wage-Price Policy, 1945-1980, he explores how the core industries of post-World War II America attempted to adapt the labor institutions first established during the New Deal to the challenges of the postwar economy. Utilizing new archival materials from companies including General Motors, General Electric, and U.S. Steel, he traces how corporations transformed collective bargaining from a tool originally designed to raise labor’s purchasing power into a “wage-price policy” that would hold down labor costs, a policy that in turn provided the federal government with a model for the incomes policies used to combat inflation in the 1960s and 1970s.
At Yale, Milner teaches courses on American Political Economy since 1877, Regulation in American History, International Economic Development since 1750, and American Business History. His work has received funding from organizations including the Tobin Project, the Economic History Association, and the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, and he is currently beginning a second project that explores the contributions of African-American economists to the Civil Rights Movement and its pursuit of economic equality.
2018 Ph.D., Yale University, Department of History.
2015 M. Phil., Yale University, Department of History.
2015 M.A., Yale University, Department of History.
2013 A.B., Harvard University, summa cum laude.
Samuel Milner, Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Business, Government, and Wage-Price Policy, 1945-1980. (Manuscript under Peer Review with University of Pennsylvania Press Series American Business, Politics, and Society).
Samuel Milner, “Assuming Direct Control: The Beguiling Allure of Incomes Policies in Postwar America,” Journal of Policy History 31, no. 1 (Winter 2019). Forthcoming.
Samuel Milner, “The Problem of Productivity: Inflation and Collective Bargaining after World War II,” Business History Review 92, no. 2 (Summer 2018): 227-250.