IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cup/jechis/v77y2017i01p90-126_00.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How Much Does Political Uncertainty Matter? The Case of Louisiana under Huey Long

Author

Listed:
  • Mathy, Gabriel
  • Ziebarth, Nicolas L.

Abstract

We study the effect of political uncertainty on economic outcomes using the case of Huey Long's tenure as governor and senator of Louisiana during the Great Depression. Based on primary sources, we construct two well-established measures of uncertainty specifically for Louisiana: stock price volatility and newspaper mentions of terms related to “uncertainty†and the economy. Combining these uncertainty measures with employment data from the Census of Manufactures, we attempt to identify the effects of political uncertainty using the state of Mississippi as a control group. We find little support for a negative effect from political uncertainty in Huey Long's Louisiana.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathy, Gabriel & Ziebarth, Nicolas L., 2017. "How Much Does Political Uncertainty Matter? The Case of Louisiana under Huey Long," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 90-126, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:77:y:2017:i:01:p:90-126_00
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S002205071700002X/type/journal_article
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shoag, Daniel & Veuger, Stan, 2016. "Uncertainty and the geography of the great recession," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 84-93.
    2. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta†Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2018. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(3), pages 1031-1065, May.
    3. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
    4. Leahy, John V & Whited, Toni M, 1996. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 64-83, February.
    5. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2017. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 937-958, May.
    6. Lubos Pástor & Pietro Veronesi, 2012. "Uncertainty about Government Policy and Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(4), pages 1219-1264, August.
    7. Christina D. Romer, 1990. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 597-624.
    8. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom, 2013. "Does Uncertainty Reduce Growth? Using Disasters as Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 19475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2009. "Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 55-87, July.
    10. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    11. Jon Cohen & Michelle Alexopoulos, 2009. "Uncertain Times, Uncertain Measures," 2009 Meeting Papers 1211, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Keith Kuester & Juan Rubio-Ramírez, 2015. "Fiscal Volatility Shocks and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3352-3384, November.
    13. Sylvain Leduc & Zheng Liu, 2012. "Uncertainty, unemployment, and inflation," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue sep17.
    14. Ferderer, J. Peter & Zalewski, David A., 1994. "Uncertainty as a Propagating Force in The Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 825-849, December.
    15. Binder, John J, 1998. "The Event Study Methodology since 1969," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 111-137, September.
    16. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
    17. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
    18. Mathy, Gabriel P., 2016. "Stock volatility, return jumps and uncertainty shocks during the Great Depression," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 165-192, August.
    19. Schwert, G William, 1989. " Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change over Time?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1115-1153, December.
    20. repec:aei:rpaper:38809 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
    22. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, January.
    23. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jason Lennard, 2020. "Uncertainty and the Great Slump," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 73(3), pages 844-867, August.
    2. Pierdzioch Christian & Gupta Rangan, 2020. "Uncertainty and Forecasts of U.S. Recessions," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 24(4), pages 1-20, September.
    3. Nicolas L. Ziebarth, 2015. "The Great Depression Through the Eyes of the Census of Manufactures," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(4), pages 185-194, October.
    4. Jirasavetakul, La-Bhus Fah & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2018. "Economic Policy Uncertainty in Turkey," CEPR Discussion Papers 13352, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Pencho Penchev, 2017. "Of the Essence and Meaning of Economic History," Proceedings of the Centre for Economic History Research, Centre for Economic History Research, vol. 2, pages 9-34, November.
    6. Jalil, Andrew J. & Rua, Gisela, 2016. "Inflation expectations and recovery in spring 1933," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 26-50.
    7. Miguel Morin, 2015. "The Labor Market Consequences of Electricity Adoption: Concrete Evidence from the Great Depression," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1554, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. N. Bloom., 2016. "Fluctuations in uncertainty," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    2. Gabriel P. Mathy, 2020. "How much did uncertainty shocks matter in the Great Depression?," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 14(2), pages 283-323, May.
    3. Mecikovsky, Ariel & Meier, Matthias, 2014. "Do plants freeze upon uncertainty shocks?," EconStor Preprints 100662, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    4. Alexopoulos, Michelle & Cohen, Jon, 2015. "The power of print: Uncertainty shocks, markets, and the economy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 8-28.
    5. Joëts, Marc & Mignon, Valérie & Razafindrabe, Tovonony, 2017. "Does the volatility of commodity prices reflect macroeconomic uncertainty?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 313-326.
    6. Yıldırım-Karaman, Secil, 2017. "Uncertainty shocks, central bank characteristics and business cycles," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 379-388.
    7. Gábor-Tóth, Enikő & Georgarakos, Dimitris, 2018. "Economic policy uncertainty and stock market participation," CFS Working Paper Series 590, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    8. Silvia Delrio, 2016. "Estimating the effects of global uncertainty in open economies," Working Papers 2016:19, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    9. Kang, Wensheng & Lee, Kiseok & Ratti, Ronald A., 2014. "Economic policy uncertainty and firm-level investment," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 42-53.
    10. Pedro Costa Ferreira & Raíra Marotta B. Vieira & Felipi Bruno Silva & Ingrid C. L. Oliveira, 2019. "Measuring Brazilian Economic Uncertainty," Journal of Business Cycle Research, Springer;Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys (CIRET), vol. 15(1), pages 25-40, April.
    11. Rangan Gupta & Chi Keung Marco Lau & Mark E. Wohar, 2019. "The impact of US uncertainty on the Euro area in good and bad times: evidence from a quantile structural vector autoregressive model," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 353-368, May.
    12. Leduc, Sylvain & Liu, Zheng, 2016. "Uncertainty shocks are aggregate demand shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 20-35.
    13. Bijsterbosch, Martin & Guérin, Pierre, 2013. "Characterizing very high uncertainty episodes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 239-243.
    14. Drobetz, Wolfgang & El Ghoul, Sadok & Guedhami, Omrane & Janzen, Malte, 2018. "Policy uncertainty, investment, and the cost of capital," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 28-45.
    15. Born, Benjamin & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2014. "Policy risk and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 68-85.
    16. Pierdzioch Christian & Gupta Rangan, 2020. "Uncertainty and Forecasts of U.S. Recessions," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 24(4), pages 1-20, September.
    17. Claeys, Peter & Vašíček, Bořek, 2019. "Transmission of uncertainty shocks: Learning from heterogeneous responses on a panel of EU countries," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 62-83.
    18. Al-Thaqeb, Saud Asaad & Algharabali, Barrak Ghanim, 2019. "Economic policy uncertainty: A literature review," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 20(C).
    19. Kıvanç Karaman, K. & Yıldırım-Karaman, Seçil, 2019. "How does financial development alter the impact of uncertainty?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 33-42.
    20. Duong, Huu Nhan & Nguyen, Justin Hung & Nguyen, My & Rhee, S. Ghon, 2020. "Navigating through economic policy uncertainty: The role of corporate cash holdings," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:77:y:2017:i:01:p:90-126_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). General contact details of provider: https://www.cambridge.org/jeh .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.