The Political Economy of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
This paper examines the congressional passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Voting on it is modeled as a function of the concentration of the constituencies for minimum wage legislation, North-South differentials, and legislator ideology. The House radically altered the final content of the bill, abandoning a proposed Wages and Hours Board with discretionary powers to determine minimum wages in favor of a flat rate following the objections of several interest groups; North-South divisions over the bill had little influence over congressional voting; and the influence of constituent groups increased relative to legislators' ideology as the bill became an important election issue. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.
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