IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Dynamics of Relief Spending and the Private Urban Labor Market During the New Deal

  • Neumann, Todd C.
  • Fishback, Price V.
  • Kantor, Shawn

During the New Deal the Roosevelt Administration dramatically expanded relief spending to combat extraordinarily high rates of unemployment. We examine the dynamic relationships between relief spending and local private labor markets using a new panel data set of monthly relief, private employment and private earnings for major U.S. cities in the 1930s. Impulse response functions derived from a panel VAR model that controls for time and city fixed effects show that a work relief shock in period t-1 led to a decline in private employment and a rise in private monthly earnings. The finding offers evidence consistent with contemporary employers' complaints that work relief made it more difficult to hire, even though work relief officials followed their stated policies to avoid affecting private labor markets directly. Meanwhile, negative shocks to private employment led to increases in work relief, consistent with Roosevelt's stated goal of using relief to promote relief and recovery.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If 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.

File URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0022050710000100
File Function: link to article abstract page
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 70 (2010)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 195-220

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:70:y:2010:i:01:p:195-220_00
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK

Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_JEH
Email:

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Alan B. Krueger & Kenneth N. Forston, 2003. "Do Markets Respond More to More Reliable Labor Market Data? A Test of Market Rationality," Working Papers 114, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  3. ZELLNER, Arnold & PALM, Franz, . "Time series analysis and simultaneous equation econometric models," CORE Discussion Papers RP 173, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
  5. Robert A. Margo, 1992. "Employment and Unemployment in the 1930s," NBER Working Papers 4174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Lawrence M. Kahn & Stuart A. Low, 1984. "An Empirical Model of Employed Search, Unemployed Search, and Nonsearch," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(1), pages 104-117.
  8. Sundstrom, William A., 1992. "Last Hired, First Fired? Unemployment and Urban Black Workers During the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(02), pages 415-429, June.
  9. Wallis, John Joseph & Benjamin, Daniel K., 1981. "Public Relief and Private Employment in the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 97-102, March.
  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. Bernanke, Ben S, 1986. "Employment, Hours, and Earnings in the Depression: An Analysis of EightManufacturing Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 82-109, March.
  12. repec:pri:cepsud:88krueger is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Price V. Fishback & Michael R. Haines & Shawn Kantor, 2007. "Births, Deaths, and New Deal Relief during the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-14, February.
  14. Aizcorbe, Ana M, 1992. "Procyclical Labour Productivity, Increasing Returns to Labour and Labour Hoarding in Car Assembly Plant Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 860-73, July.
  15. Hanes, Christopher, 1996. "Changes in the Cyclical Behavior of Real Wage Rates, 1870–1990," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(04), pages 837-861, December.
  16. Christopher Hanes, 2000. "Nominal Wage Rigidity and Industry Characteristics in the Downturns of 1893, 1929, and 1981," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1432-1446, December.
  17. Margo, Robert A., 1991. "The Microeconomics of Depression Unemployment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(02), pages 333-341, June.
  18. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  19. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search Decisions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Historical Economic Geography

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:70:y:2010:i:01:p:195-220_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.