The Political Economy of Redistribution in the U.S. in the Aftermath of World War II and the Delayed Impacts of the Great Depression - Evidence and Theory
AbstractThe paper presents evidence of an upward ratchet in transfers and taxes in the U.S. around World-War II. This finding is explained within a political-economy framework involving an executive who sets defense spending and the median voter in the population who interacts with a (richer) agenda setter in Congress in setting redistribution. While the setter managed to cap redistribution in the pre-war period, the War itself pushed up the status-quo tax burden, raising the bargaining power of the median voter as defense spending receded. This raised the equilibrium level of redistribution. The higher share of post-War transfers may thus be interpreted as a delayed fulfilment of a, not fully satisfied, popular demand for redistribution inherited from the Great Depression.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7501.
Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
- N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2009-11-27 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-MAC-2009-11-27 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-POL-2009-11-27 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2009-11-27 (Public Finance)
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