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Agricultural Investment and the Interwar Business Cycle

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Author Info

  • James L. Butkiewicz

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)

  • Matthew A. Martin

    ()
    (Economy.Com, Inc.)

Abstract

During the interwar period, the agricultural sector was a much larger component of the United States economy than at present. Thus, changes in agricultural fortunes had a larger impact on macroeconomic events than is the case today. The Great Depression and concomitant collapse of commodity prices adversely affected the farming sector, as did the drought that distressed many farming regions during this period. Farmers’ income plummeted, sharply curtailing investment in farm equipment. One key goal of the New Deal agricultural policies was to reverse the fortunes of the agricultural sector. Price supports and production control programs attempted to increase farmers’ incomes, enabling them to reverse the dramatic drop in equipment investment that occurred during the contraction period. This paper investigates the macroeconomic impact of investment in agricultural equipment on the aggregate economy. Results obtained support the hypothesis that increased expenditures for agricultural equipment contributed to the strength of the recovery, especially during the crucial early years of the recovery.

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File URL: http://graduate.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2003/UDWP2003-10.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Delaware, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03-10.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:03-10

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Postal: Purnell Hall, Newark, Delaware 19716
Phone: (302) 831-2565
Fax: (302) 831-6968
Web page: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/departments/economics/department-economics/
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Related research

Keywords: Agriculture; Great Depression;

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References

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  1. Alston, Lee J., 1983. "Farm Foreclosures in the United States During the Interwar Period," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(04), pages 885-903, December.
  2. Temin, Peter & Wigmore, Barrie A., 1990. "The end of one big deflation," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 483-502, October.
  3. Romer, Christina D., 1992. "What Ended the Great Depression?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(04), pages 757-784, December.
  4. Madsen, Jakob B., 2001. "Agricultural Crises And The International Transmission Of The Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(02), pages 327-365, June.
  5. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  6. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
  7. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 454, October.
  8. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
  9. David E. Runkle, 1987. "Vector autoregressions and reality," Staff Report 107, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Ben S. Bernanke, 1986. "Alternative Explanations of the Money-Income Correlation," NBER Working Papers 1842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Are forecasting models usable for policy analysis?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-16.
  12. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 437-42, October.
  13. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1992. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth: How Strong Is the Nexus?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 157-212.
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