IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Electoral Incentives, Public Policy, and the New Deal Realignment

Listed author(s):
  • Robert K. Fleck

This paper develops a model of the effects of electoral incentives on policy, then applies the model to the New Deal realignment. In the model, policy is the outcome of an agenda-setter game between the president and legislators. Specifically, the president sets policy subject to legislative approval. The president’s ability to concentrate benefits in states with high electoral payoffs depends in part on his or her power to influence legislators’ prospects for reelection. Regression analysis shows that New Deal spending and roll call voting patterns in the House of Representatives support the model. Historical accounts of other aspects of New Deal policy, including labor and civil rights issues, are consistent with the model. Together, the theoretical results and the empirical evidence help to explain several striking features of the policy and politics of the 1930s, including (i) why a government dominated by the Democratic Party would provide high benefits to swing states and much lower benefits to the traditionally Democratic South, (ii) why favoritism of swing states increased from the 1933–1934 period to the 1937– 1938 period, (iii) why favoritism of swing states decreased from 1938 to 1939, and (iv) why, with the rise of the conservative coalition in Congress in the late 1930s, it was the representatives from traditionally loyal Democratic districts that created the strongest Democratic opposition to Roosevelt and the New Deal.

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

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

Volume (Year): 65 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 377-404

in new window

Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:65:3:y:1999:p:377-404
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:65:3:y:1999:p:377-404. 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: (Laura Razzolini)

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.