Economic Stabilization Agency


The Economic Stabilization Agency (ESA) was an agency of the United States Government that existed from 1950 to 1953.

Economic Stabilization Agency
Agency overview
FormedSeptember 9, 1950
Preceding agency
DissolvedApril 30, 1953
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
Agency executives
Parent agencyExecutive Office of the President
Child agencies
  • Office of Price Stabilization
  • Wage Stabilization Board
  • Salary Stabilization Board
  • Office of Rent Stabilization
  • Railroad and Airline Wage Board
  • National Enforcement Commission

The creation of the ESA was authorized by the Defense Production Act (Pub. L. 81–774, 64 Stat. 798), which was signed into law by President of the United States Harry S. Truman on September 8, 1950.[1] The Defense Production Act was passed in response to the start of the Korean War and authorized the President to control the civilian economy so that scarce and/or critical materials necessary to the national defense effort are available for defense needs.[2]

On September 9, 1950, President Truman signed the Executive Order 10161, thus creating the ESA.[1] The ESA was responsible for imposing price ceilings and wage controls on the United States economy.[1] In this capacity, the ESA was responsible for supervising the Office of Price Stabilization, the Wage Stabilization Board, the Salary Stabilization Board, the Office of Rent Stabilization, the Railroad and Airline Wage Board, and the National Enforcement Commission.[1]

The price control provisions of the Defense Production Act expired in 1953, so, on February 6, 1953, President Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10434 abolishing the ESA effective April 30, 1953.[1] Executive Order 10480, signed August 14, 1953, ordered the liquidation of the ESA, and this was complete by October 31, 1953.[1]

Directors of the ESAEdit


  • "General Records of the Economic Stabilization Agency at the National Archives".


  1. ^ a b c d e f General Records of the Economic Stabilization Agency at the National Archives
  2. ^ "The Defense Production Act: Choice as to Allocations," Columbia Law Review, March 1951; Lockwood, Defense Production Act: Purpose and Scope, June 22, 2001.