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Can the New Deal's three Rs be rehabilitated? A program-by-program, county-by-county analysis

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

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 40 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 278-307

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:40:y:2003:i:3:p:278-307
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Price V. Fishback & Shawn Kantor & John Joseph Wallis, 2002. "Can the New Deal's Three R's Be Rehabilitated? A Program-by-Program, County-by-County Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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