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Voter Influence and Big Policy Change: The Positive Political Economy of the New Deal

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  • Robert K. Fleck

Abstract

What conditions cause major policy changes under representative government? This article addresses that question by providing a theoretically grounded analysis of a massive policy change: the New Deal. It explains how the economic problems of the early 1930s initiated changes on several dimensions of policy: federal spending, labor market regulation, and civil rights. The article concludes by considering the broader lessons learned from the political economy of the New Deal. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:116:y:2008:i:1:p:1-37
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/528999
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jim F. Couch & William F. Shughart III, 1998. "The Political Economy of the New Deal," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1561.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:71:y:1977:i:03:p:940-953_26 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Atlas, Cary M, et al, 1995. "Slicing the Federal Government Net Spending Pie: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 624-629, June.
    5. Robert K. Fleck, 1999. "Electoral Incentives, Public Policy, and the New Deal Realignment," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 377-404, January.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Geoffrey Carliner, 1991. "Politics and Economics in the Eighties," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ales91-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Akee, Randall & Jorgensen, Miriam & Sunde, Uwe, 2015. "Critical junctures and economic development – Evidence from the adoption of constitutions among American Indian Nations," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 844-861.
    2. Price V. Fishback & John Joseph Wallis, 2012. "What Was New About the New Deal?," NBER Working Papers 18271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Fleck, Robert K., 2013. "Why did the electorate swing between parties during the Great Depression?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 599-619.
    4. Stoian, Adrian & Fishback, Price, 2010. "Welfare spending and mortality rates for the elderly before the Social Security era," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, January.
    5. Daniele Coen-Pirani, 2016. "Fiscal Centralization: Theory and Evidence from the Great Depression," 2016 Meeting Papers 783, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Price V. Fishback & Valentina Kachanovskaya, 2010. "In Search of the Multiplier for Federal Spending in the States During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 16561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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