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New Deal Agricultural Appropriations: A Political Influence

Author

Listed:
  • Jim F. Couch

    (University of North Alabama)

  • Keith E. Atkinson

    (Delta State University)

  • William H. Wells

    (Merrimack College)

Abstract

This study investigates the allocation of New Deal appropriations to agricultural interests in Alabama's sixty-seven counties during the Great Depression. Conventional wisdom indicates that Roosevelt, through the New Deal, brought assistance to those in need. However, recent literature has identified a political motivation to the pattern of spending that emerged during the economic downturn. The authors develop and estimate a model with data which has only recently become available. The results show that while communities with the highest farm income received larger appropriations as expected, counties that experienced a collapse in farm income during the Great Depression received no special consideration from those officials responsible for distributing New Deal dollars across the state. These results indicate that self-interest was an important motivator in allocating agricultural appropriations in the state of Alabama during the Great Depression.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:24:y:1998:i:2:p:137-148
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/eeconj/Volume24/V24N2P137_148.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sorensen, Todd A. & Fishback, Price & Allen, Samuel K. & Kantor, Shawn, 2007. "Migration Creation, Diversion, and Retention: New Deal Grants and Migration: 1935-1940," IZA Discussion Papers 3060, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Price V. Fishback & William C. Horrace & Shawn Kantor, 2001. "The Impact of New Deal Expenditures on Local Economic Activity: An Examination of Retail Sales, 1929-1939," NBER Working Papers 8108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Fishback, Price V. & Horrace, William C. & Kantor, Shawn, 2006. "The impact of New Deal expenditures on mobility during the Great Depression," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 179-222, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Depression;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • N52 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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