The Impact of New Deal Expenditures on Local Economic Activity: An Examination of Retail Sales, 1929-1939
Abstract**Revised version 2005** This paper empirically examines the New Deal's impact on local economic activity, as measured by retail sales, during the 1930s. Using a recently-uncovered data set that describes over 30 federal New Deal spending, loan, and mortgage insurance programs across all U.S. counties from 1933 to 1939, we estimate how the various New Deal programs that were designed to accomplish different objectives influenced retail spending. Our empirical approach accounts for both the simultaneity between New Deal allocations and economic activity and the geographic spillovers that likely resulted when spending in one county may have affected the economies of its neighbors. We find that New Deal spending on public works tended to promote retail sales in both the county where the money was spent and in contiguous neighbors, while spending on work relief increased economic activity in the county where the money was spent but at the expense of neighboring counties. Agricultural spending that limited production was associated with lower retail spending. New Deal loan programs appear to have had little or a somewhat negative effect. Finally, increases in the value of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration had a strong positive effect on local economic growth during the Depression.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8108.
Date of creation: Feb 2001
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2001-02-08 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bailey, Stephen J & Connolly, Stephen, 1998. " The Flypaper Effect: Identifying Areas for Further Research," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(3-4), pages 335-61, June.
- Kevin T. Duffy-Deno & Randall W. Eberts, 1989.
"Public infrastructure and regional economic development: a simultaneous equations approach,"
8909, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Duffy-Deno, Kevin T. & Eberts, Randall W., 1991. "Public infrastructure and regional economic development: A simultaneous equations approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 329-343, November.
- repec:fth:harver:1418 is not listed on IDEAS
- John G. Fernald, 1999.
"Roads to Prosperity? Assessing the Link between Public Capital and Productivity,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 619-638, June.
- John Fernald, 1997. "Roads to prosperity? assessing the link between public capital and productivity," International Finance Discussion Papers 592, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004.
"New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
- Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "New Deal policies and the persistence of the Great Depression: a general equilibrium analysis," Working Papers 597, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "How Does Macroeconomic Policy Affect Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 433-494.
- Aschauer, David Alan, 1989.
"Is public expenditure productive?,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
- Price V. Fishback & William C. Horrace & Shawn Kantor, 2001. "Do Federal Programs Affect Internal Migration? The Impact of New Deal Expenditures on Mobility During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 8283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stanley L Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002.
"Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economics,"
NBER Working Papers
9259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth Lee Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development among New World Economies," Journal of LACEA Economia, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
- Marilyn Young & Michael Reksulak & William F. Shughart, 2001. "The Political Economy of the IRS," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 201-220, 07.
- Bernanke, Ben & Parkinson, Martin, 1989.
"Unemployment, Inflation, and Wages in the American Depression: Are There Lessons for Europe?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 210-14, May.
- Ben Bernanke & Martin Parkinson, 1989. "Unemployment, Inflation, and Wages in the American Depression: Are There Lessons for Europe?," NBER Working Papers 2862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001.
"Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution,"
NBER Working Papers
8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
- J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, . "How Does Macroeconomic Policy Matter?," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _130, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
- J. F. Couch & P. M. Williams, 1999. "New Deal or Same Old Shuffle? The Distribution of New Deal Dollars Across Alabama," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 213-223, 07.
- Jim F. Couch & Keith E. Atkinson & William H. Wells, 1998. "New Deal Agricultural Appropriations: A Political Influence," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 137-148, Spring.
- Price V. Fishback, 2010.
"U.S. Monetary and Fiscal Policy in the 1930s,"
NBER Working Papers
16477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Price V. Fishback & Samuel Allen & Jonathan Fox & Brendan Livingston, 2010.
"A Patchwork Safety Net: A Survey of Cliometric Studies of Income Maintenance Programs in the United States in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,"
NBER Working Papers
15696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Price Fishback & Samuel Allen & Jonathan Fox & Brendan Livingston, 2010. "A Patchwork Safety Net: A Survey Of Cliometric Studies Of Income Maintenance Programs In The United States In The First Half Of The Twentieth Century," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 895-940, December.
- Michael Brocker & Christopher Hanes, 2013. "The 1920s American Real Estate Boom and the Downturn of the Great Depression: Evidence from City Cross Sections," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Price V. Fishback & Werner Troesken & Trevor Kollmann & Michael Haines & Paul W. Rhode & Melissa Thomasson, 2011. "Information and the Impact of Climate and Weather on Mortality Rates During the Great Depression," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Climate Change: Adaptations Past and Present, pages 131-167 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.