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Can the New Deal's Three R's Be Rehabilitated? A Program-by-Program, County-by-County Analysis

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  • Price V. Fishback
  • Shawn Kantor
  • John Joseph Wallis

Abstract

We examine the importance of Roosevelt's 'relief, recovery, and reform' motives to the distribution of New Deal funds across over 3,000 U.S. counties, program by program. The major relief programs most closely followed Roosevelt's three R's. Other programs were tilted more in favor of areas with higher incomes. For all programs spending for political advantage in upcoming elections was a significant factor. Roosevelt's successful reelections were based on developing specific programs for a broad range of constituents, delivering on his stated goals, but also spending more at the margin for political purposes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8903.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Publication status: published as Fishback, Price V. & Kantor, Shawn & Wallis, John Joseph, 2003. "Can the New Deal's three Rs be rehabilitated? A program-by-program, county-by-county analysis," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 278-307, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8903

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  1. Wallis, John Joseph, 1987. "Employment, Politics, and Economic Recovery during the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 516-20, August.
  2. Wallis, John Joseph, 1998. "The Political Economy of New Deal Spending Revisited, Again: With and without Nevada," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 140-170, April.
  3. 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.
  4. Weingast, Barry R & Marshall, William J, 1988. "The Industrial Organization of Congress; or, Why Legislatures, Like Firms, Are Not Organized as Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 132-63, February.
  5. 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.
  6. Robert K. Fleck, 1999. "Electoral Incentives, Public Policy, and the New Deal Realignment," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 377-404, January.
  7. Fleck, Robert K, 2001. " Inter-party Competition, Intra-party Competition, and Distributive Policy: A Model and Test Using New Deal Data," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(1-2), pages 77-100, July.
  8. Smiley, Gene, 2000. "A Note on New Estimates of the Distribution of Income in the 1920s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 1120-1128, December.
  9. Robert A. Margo, 1990. "The Microeconomics of Depression Unemployment," NBER Historical Working Papers 0018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Fleck, Robert K., 1999. "The Marginal Effect of New Deal Relief Work on County-Level Unemployment Statistics," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(03), pages 659-687, September.
  11. Alston, Lee J. & Kauffman, Kyle D., 1997. "Agricultural Chutes and Ladders: New Estimates of Sharecroppers and “True Tenants” in the South, 1900–1920," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(02), pages 464-475, June.
  12. Reading, Don C., 1973. "New Deal Activity and the States, 1933 to 1939," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(04), pages 792-810, December.
  13. Whatley, Warren C., 1983. "Labor for the Picking: the New Deal in the South," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(04), pages 905-929, December.
  14. repec:cup:jechis:v:44:y:1984:i:01:p:139-159_03 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Wallis, John Joseph, 1989. "Employment in the Great Depression: New data and hypotheses," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 45-72, January.
  16. Smiley, Gene, 2000. "A Note on New Estimates of the Distribution of Income in the 1920s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 1120-1128, December.
  17. 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.
  18. Finegan, T. Aldrich & Margo, Robert A., 1994. "Work Relief and the Labor Force Participation of Married Women in 1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(01), pages 64-84, March.
  19. Fleck, Robert K, 1999. "The Value of the Vote: A Model and Test of the Effects of Turnout on Distributive Policy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(4), pages 609-23, October.
  20. Wallis, John, 2001. "The Political Economy of New Deal Spending, Yet Again: A Reply to Fleck," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 305-314, April.
  21. Fleck, Robert K., 2001. "Population, Land, Economic Conditions, and the Allocation of New Deal Spending," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 296-304, April.
  22. John J. Wallis & Wallace Oates, 1998. "The Impact of the New Deal on American Federalism," NBER Chapters, in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 155-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Schmitz, Mark & Fishback, Price V., 1983. "The Distribution of the Income in the Great Depression: Preliminary State Estimates," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 217-230, March.
  24. Wright, Gavin, 1974. "The Political Economy of New Deal Spending: An Econometric Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 30-38, February.
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  1. Is Stimulus Funding Political?
    by Jonathan H. Adler in the volokh conspiracy on 2010-04-04 12:52:04
  2. Is Stimulus Spending Political?
    by Nick Gillespie in Hit & Run blog on 2010-04-02 21:45:00
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