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The Political Economy of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

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  • Seltzer, Andrew J

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Seltzer, Andrew J, 1995. "The Political Economy of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1302-1342, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:103:y:1995:i:6:p:1302-42
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
    2. Stratmann, Thomas, 1992. "The Effects of Logrolling on Congressional Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1162-1176, December.
    3. Kau, James B & Rubin, Paul H, 1978. "Voting on Minimum Wages: A Time-Series Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages 337-342, April.
    4. Schulman, Bruce J., 1991. "From Cotton Belt to Sunbelt: Federal Policy, Economic Development, and the Transformation of the South, 1938-1980," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195057034.
    5. Alston, Lee J., 1981. "Tenure choice in Southern agriculture, 1930-1960," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 211-232, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Price Fishback, 2017. "How Successful Was the New Deal? The Microeconomic Impact of New Deal Spending and Lending Policies in the 1930s," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1435-1485, December.
    2. Russell S. Sobel, 1999. "Theory and Evidence on the Political Economy of the Minimum Wage," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 761-785, August.
    3. Oren M. Levin-Waldman, 1999. "The Rhetorical Evolution of the Minimum Wage," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_280, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Stephen P. Holland & Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel & Nathan C. Parker, 2015. "Some Inconvenient Truths about Climate Change Policy: The Distributional Impacts of Transportation Policies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1052-1069, December.
    5. Chunbing Xing & Jianwei Xu, 2016. "Regional variation of the minimum wages in China," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-22, December.
    6. Michael Becher & Stegmueller, Daniel & K├Ąppner, Konstantin, 2016. "Local Union Organization and Lawmaking in the U.S. Congress," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 304, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Robert K. Fleck, 2008. "Voter Influence and Big Policy Change: The Positive Political Economy of the New Deal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-37, February.

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