Did the New Deal Solidify the 1932 Democratic Realignment?
AbstractThe critical election of 1932 represented a turning point in the future electoral successes of the Democrats and Republicans for over three decades. This paper seeks to measure the importance of the New Deal in facilitating the Democrats’ control of the federal government well into the 1960s. We test whether long-differences in the county-level electoral support for Democratic presidential candidates after the 1930s can be attributed to New Deal interventions into local economies. We also investigate more narrowly whether voters rewarded Roosevelt from 1932 to 1936 and from 1936 to 1940 for his efforts to stimulate depressed local economies. Our instrumental variables estimates indicate that increasing a county’s per capita New Deal relief and public works spending from nothing to the sample mean ($277) would have increased the long-run support for the Democratic party by 10 percentage points. We further find that the long-run shift toward the Democratic party after 1928 was not a function of the Roosevelt landslide victory in 1932. Roosevelt’s ability to win over voters during the 1936 and 1940 elections, however, did matter for the long-term.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18500.
Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Publication status: published as Shawn Kantor, Price V. Fishback, John J. Wallis. "Did the New Deal Solidify the 1932 Democratic Realignment?," in Price Fishback, organizer, "The Microeconomics of New Deal Policy" Elsevier, Explorations in Economic History, 50(4) (2013)
Note: DAE POL
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Other versions of this item:
- Kantor, Shawn & Fishback, Price V. & Wallis, John Joseph, 2013. "Did the New Deal solidify the 1932 Democratic realignment?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 620-633.
- H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
- N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-11-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2012-11-11 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-POL-2012-11-11 (Positive Political Economics)
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