Catalogue


The political economy of the New Deal /
Jim F. Couch, William F. Shughart II.
imprint
Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA : Edwar Elgar, 1998.
description
xvi, 247 p. : ill.
ISBN
1858988993
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
added author
imprint
Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA : Edwar Elgar, 1998.
isbn
1858988993
general note
"The Locke Institute."
catalogue key
2261439
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-06-01:
Couch (Univ. of North Alabama) and Shughart (Univ. of Mississippi) are the latest in a series of economists to revisit the New Deal from a variety of perspectives, but mainly from that of public choice. They fairly thoroughly if somewhat critically summarize the nature and impact of the agricultural programs and the core elements of New Deal I and New Deal II, emphasizing the distribution of dollars across states. The authors find a systematic bias in the distribution toward the West and away from the Southeast. Their primary purpose is to explore the role of electoral politics in determining the allocation of funds, as opposed to or in conjunction with such allocation factors as matching by states, measures of need, or special circumstances. They make a fairly convincing case that electoral politics, primarily but not exclusively presidential, was a significant contributing factor in the allocation of funds in a number of New Deal programs, despite efforts by southerners in Congress (particularly Richard Russell) to shift the distribution toward the safely Democratic South. Well written, this volume is a useful blend of public choice theory and economic history. Lower-division undergraduate through professional collections. H. H. Ulbrich Clemson University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 1999
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The Political Economy of the New Deal explores the political and economic forces that shaped the highly uneven distribution of federal emergency relief spending during the Depression.
Main Description
All in all, The Political Economy of the New Deal is a well-written book that makes us think further about the motives of the New Dealers and politicians in general. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the New Deal and the politics of the 1930s. Gene Smiley, The Independent Review This book effectively debunks the popular mythology about the New Deal, and represents a watershed in the application of public choice analysis to an important episode in recent economic history. Gary M. Anderson, Public Choice . . . engaging and provocative . . . Couch and Shughart s book provides a useful outline of some of the arguments that a public choice based view of the New Deal must attempt to make. They present an interesting overview of several agencies and programs, accompanied by quotes and examples that often succeed in giving the reader a feeling of being in the midst of the action. Barbara J. Alexander, Journal of Economic History Well written, this volume is a useful blend of public choice theory and economic history. H.H. Ulbrich, Choice The Political Economy of the New Deal explores the political and economic forces that shaped the highly uneven distribution of federal emergency relief spending during the Great Depression. It presents new empirical evidence on the Roosevelt administration s response to the Great Depression, and shows how this was influenced more by presidential politics than by the plight of the unemployed millions. The authors apply public choice theory to data produced by the Roosevelt administration to produce an empirical model of New Deal spending decisions. It reassesses the role played by politics in shaping the policies adopted by the New Dealers through a detailed analysis of the distribution of federal emergency relief funds. The authors present new econometric evidence supporting the idea that President Roosevelt used the New Deal to buy electoral votes. They suggest that states with healthier economies attracted disproportionately larger shares of the federal government s relief funds simply because they could afford the programs costs; and that states whose citizens were in greatest economic need were required to bear more of the cost of financing projects. The results from this analysis suggest that while economic need was certainly not ignored, political considerations dominated the distribution of New Deal dollars. This book examines the origins of the modern American welfare state from a public choice perspective and will be of great interest to economists and political scientists, as well as those interested in the economic history of the United States.
Unpaid Annotation
'This book effectively debunks the popular mythology about the New Deal, and represents a watershed in the application of public choice analysis to an important episode in recent economic history.' - Gary M. Anderson, Public Choice '...engaging and provocative ...Couch and Shughart's book provides a useful outline of some of the arguments that a public choice based view of the New Deal must attempt to make. They present an interesting overview of several agencies and programs, accompanied by quotes and examples that often succeed in giving the reader a feeling of being in the midst of the action.' - Barbara J. Alexander, Journal of Economic History 'Well written, this volume is a useful blend of public choice theory and economic history.' - H.H. Ulbrich, Choice The Political Economy of the New Deal explores the political and economic forces that shaped the highly uneven distribution of federal emergency relief spending during the Great Depression. It presents new empirical evidence on the Roosevelt administration's response to the Great Depression, and shows how this was influenced more by presidential politics than by the plight of the unemployed millions. The authors apply public choice theory to data produced by the Roosevelt administration to produce an empirical model of New Deal spending decisions. It reassesses the role played by politics in shaping the policies adopted by the New Dealers through a detailed analysis of the distribution of federal emergency relief funds. The authors present new econometric evidence supporting the idea that President Roosevelt used the New Deal to buy electoral votes. They suggest that states with healthier economies attracted disproportionately larger shares of the federal government's relief funds simply because they could afford the programs' costs; and that states whose citizens were in greatest economic need were required to bear more of the cost of financing projects. The results from this analysis suggest that while economic need was certainly not ignored, political considerations dominated the distribution of New Deal dollars. This book examines the origins of the modern American welfare state from a public choice perspective and will be of great interest to economists and political scientists, as well as those interested in the economic history of the United States.
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 1
A Concise History of the Great Depressionp. 5
The Farm Crisis and Rural Reliefp. 37
The First New Dealp. 66
The Second New Dealp. 97
Did the New Dealers Respond to Economic Need?p. 124
Politics and Patterns of New Deal Spendingp. 155
The Political Economy of the New Dealp. 177
Summary and Conclusionsp. 223
Bibliographyp. 231
Indexp. 239
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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