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New Deal Agricultural Appropriations: A Political Influence

Listed author(s):
  • Jim F. Couch

    (University of North Alabama)

  • Keith E. Atkinson

    (Delta State University)

  • William H. Wells

    (Merrimack College)

Registered author(s):

    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.

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    Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 24 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
    Pages: 137-148

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    Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:24:y:1998:i:2:p:137-148
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