Inequality and the Safety Net in American Cities throughout the Income Distribution, 1929–1940
We compare three measures of inequality in cities across the United States before and during the Great Depression: gini coefficients for income in 1929 and 1933; gini coefficients for housing values in 1930, 1934, and 1940; and the share of families paying federal income taxes. Both levels and changes in housing and income ginis were strongly correlated in 1929–30 and 1933–34. However, the changes in the income gini implied increases in inequality in nearly every sample city between 1929 and 1933 while the changes in the housing gini did not. Incomes tended to become more unequal in cities located in states where income per capita fell the most. Among safety net programs, cities increased their relief spending more in areas with rising inequality. Among New Deal housing programs, the HOLC and the FHA were associated with slight increases in inequality, while the average housing values in most parts of the housing distribution rose more in areas with more FHA insurance of mortgages.
Feigenbaum is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Boston University (email@example.com) and Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research; Fishback is the APS Professor of Economics at the University of Arizona (firstname.lastname@example.org), a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Honorary Professor at Stellenbosch University; and Grayson is an Associate Professor at Hobart and William Smith College (email@example.com). The collection of some of the data used in this project was supported by National Science Foundation grants SES 0617972, SES-1061927, and SBR-9708098. We would like to thank David Johnson for his helpful suggestions for improving the paper and Raj Chetty, John Friedman, Janet Gornick, Barry Johnson, and Arthur Kennickell for inviting us to be a part of the conference and the volume and their editorial support. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
During the course of my career, here is my employment history and the source of research funding. My financial investments are primarily in broad-based index funds with financial institutions and pensions funds. I inherited some stock holdings. None of the investments are related to my research. I have also provided a list of sources of research, teaching, and consulting funding over the course of my career.
GRANTS FOR RESEARCH:
“Workplace Accidents and Compensation.” Arizona Industrial Commission. 2018. Research support for Andy Yuan.
“The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Origins of Modern State Government Fiscal Policies.” National Science Foundation Grant SES-135744. $355,591 for three years. Collaborative with Shawn Kantor/Theresa Gutberlet at Florida State University (earlier Renssalaer Polytechnic Insitute) for another $123,000.
“Institutional Performance and Change During Boom and Bust: The Residential Mortgage Market, 1920-1940.” National Science Foundation Grant SES-1061927. $304,300 for three years. Collaborative with Kenneth Snowden at University of North Carolina, Greensboro for another $150,000. 2011-2015.
”The Dramatic Rise in Agricultural Productivity in the U.S During the Twentieth Century: Disentangling the Roles of Technological Change, Government Policy, and Climate.” With Paul Rhode at Michigan as co-PI, and Michael Haines at Colgate as a contractor. National Science Foundation. SES- 0921732. $598,932.00, 2009-2012.
“Government, Housing, and the Changing Income Distribution During the Great Depression: A Dissaggregated and Microeconomic Approach.” National Science Foundation, SES 0617972 $410,087 with Alfonso Flores-Lagunes and Kei Hirano at University of Arizona. Collaborative with Shawn Kantor at UC Merced with another $150,000, 2006-2009.
“The Impact of the New Deal on Local Economic Development,” with William Horrace and Shawn Kantor. National Science Foundation No. SES 0214483, $392,798, July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2004, extended to June 30, 2006.
“The Impact of the New Deal on Local Economic Development,” with William Horrace and Shawn Kantor. National Science Foundation No. SES-0080324, $284,382, July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2002.
“The Impact of New Deal Relief Spending on Local Labor Markets,” with Shawn E. Kantor, National Science Foundation, SBR-9708098, $176,470, July 1, 1997 through June 30, 1999.
"The Impact of the New Deal on Local Development, Migration, and Labor Markets," Earhart Foundation, $12,500 for summer of 1996.
"The Political Economy of Workers' Compensation," with Shawn Kantor, National Science Foundation Grant No. SBR 9223058. $97,476 for 1993 94 and $96,772 for 1994 95.
"The Political Economy of Workers' Compensation Legislation," Earhart Foundation, $12,000 for summer of 1992.
"Competition and the Economic Welfare of Coal Miners During the Hand Loading Era," Bradley Foundation, $13,211 for summer of 1989.
"Competition and the Economic Welfare of Coal Miners During the Hand Loading Era," Earhart Foundation, $10,898 for summer of 1988.
"The Economics of Segregated Schools: Georgia, 1900 1960." University of Georgia Faculty Research Grant for the years 1985 1986, $6,800.
"Were Company Stores Exploitative? Determinants of Expenditures and Debt in Coal Company Stores." Arthur H. Cole Grants in Aid for Research in Economic History for 1984, $1,200.
"Were Company Stores Exploitative?" National Endowment for the Humanities Travel To Collections Grant for Summer of 1984, $500.
GRANTS FOR CONFERENCES
“The Microeconomics of the New Deal.” National Bureau of Economic Research and Bradley Foundation. Conferences in March 2012 and August 2012. Principal Investigator working in conjunction with Jim Poterba and Denis Healy of the NBER. $50,000.
“The Cliometrics Conferences 2006, 2007, 2008,” co-Principal Investigator with Ann Carlos, National Science Foundation, $90,014.
“The Role of Government in American Economic History: Colonial Times to the Present. A Conference in Honor of Robert Higgs.” Earhart Foundation, $9,900. January 2004.
“The Cliometrics Conferences 2003, 2004, 2005,” National Science Foundation, $90,014.
“Undergraduate Workshop on New Markets, Institutions, and Economic Strategies, January 2003.” Earhart Foundation, $9,600.
“Undergraduate Workshop on New Markets, Institutions, and Economic Strategies, January 2002.” Earhart Foundation, $9,600.
“Undergraduate Workshop on the Design of Economic Institutions at the University of Arizona, January 2001.” Earhart Foundation, $10,000.
“The Cliometrics Conferences 2000, 2001, and 2002,” co-Principal Investigator with Samuel Williamson, National Science Foundation, $79,000.
"Conference in Honor of Gordon Tullock," with Gary Libecap and Ed Zajac, Earhart Foundation, $12,500, for May 22, 1999.
SPONSORSHIP OF NSF DISSERTATION GRANTS
Keith Meyers. “Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: Investigating the Economic Consequences of Atmospheric Nuclear Testing.” $14,975. 2017-2018. NSF-1658749.
Erin McGuire. “Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: Investigating the Impact of the Civilian Conservation Corps Program on Health and Human Capital.” $15,803. 2016-2017. NSF-1629321.
Theresa Gutberlet. “Doctoral Dissertation Research in Ecconomics: The Impact of Mechanization and Market Integration on Industry Location in Germany and the Pennsylvania-Ohio-Virginia Region, 1840-1910.’ $10,832. 2012-2013.
Taylor Jaworski. “Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: The Warring Forties: New Evidence on the Economic Consequences of World War II” $9,900. 2011.
Carl Kitchens. “Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: The Tennessee Valley Authority.” 2010.
Brendan Livingston. “Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: State and Local Spending on Poverty Relief in the United States: 1900-1930. $10,000. 2010
Jonathan Fox. “Public Health Movements, Local Poor Relief, and Child Mortality in the United States: 1910-1932. National Science Foundation, $10,000. 2009-2010.
Jedidiah Brewer. “The Effect of Hypermart Entry on Traditional Gasoline Retailers: Evidence from a Natural Experiment.” National Science Foundation, $3400, 2006-2007.
Samuel Allen. “Doctoral Dissertation Research: The Political Economy of Worker's Compensation Benefits:
1940 -2000” National Science Foundation, $10,000, 2002-2003.
Ryan Johnson. "Doctoral Dissertation Research: The Economic Progress of American Black
Workers in Periods of Crisis and Change, 1910-1950" National Science Foundation Grant SES-0095375, $10,000, 2001-2002.
Melissa Thomasson. "Examining the Impact of Government Tax Policies on the Development of the
Market for Health Insurance." National Science Foundation, $10,000, 1996-97.
Hoover Institution Fellowship, 2018 for Paper on Rule of Law in Labor Markets During the Progressive Era, $15,000.
Hoover Institution, Participation in Conferences on Regulation and the Rule of Law, 1916-2020, $5,000 per year.
Hoover Institution Fellowship, 2015 for Paper on Changes in the Distribution of Federal Funds, 1923-1939, $15,000.
Koch Scholars in Economic History at the University of Arizona. Koch Foundation, October 2016 – June-2017, $12,000.
Koch Scholars in Economic History at the University of Arizona. Koch Foundation, November 2015 – June-2016, $12,000.
Koch Scholars in Economic History at the University of Arizona. Koch Foundation, January 2013 – December 2014, $12,000.
Koch Scholars in Economic History at the University of Arizona. Koch Foundation, January 2013 – December 2013, $12,000.
Koch Scholars in Economic History at the University of Arizona. Koch Foundation, January 2012 – December 2012, $12,000.
Koch Scholars in Economic History at the University of Arizona. Koch Foundation, January 2011 – December 2011, $12,000.
“Building Economic History Bridges.” Grant sponsored by the U.S. Japan Foundation and the Economic History Association to give talks and attend conference in Japan. May 2004. $6,000.
PHI BETA KAPPA TWO-DAY VISITS TO COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Each visit was sponsored by the national Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society and the local chapter. Each involves a public talk and then visits to 4-5 classes, meetings with students and faculty, and lunch and dinner meetings with students and faculty. I list the public talk given at each school.
Macroeconomics. Office of Economic Education. University of Arizona and Brown Foundation. 5-day course taught for Arizona K-12 Teachers.
Tucson, June 6-12, 2013
Taught in program “Economic History for Leaders,” which is a program for high school students and K-12 teachers sponsored by the Foundation for Teaching Economics
New York City, New York, July/August, 2019
Williamsburg, VA June 2016
Taught in program “Economic Forces in American History,” which is a program for K-12 (mostly High School) teachers sponsored by the Foundation for Teaching Economics
Chicago, IL, July 2-6, 2013.
Phoenix, AZ, November 30- December 1, 2012.
Williamsburg, VA, July-August 2012
Williamsburg, VA, July 2011.
Scottsdale, AZ, February 2011.
San Diego, CA, June 2010.
Jacksonville, FL June 2009.
San Diego, CA, June 2008.
San Diego, CA, June 2007.
Honolulu, Hawaii. July 2006.
Las Vegas, NV. July 2005
Williamsburg, VA. June 2003.
San Antonio, TX. July 2002.
Key Biscayne, FL. July 2001.
San Diego, CA. June 2001.
Williamsburg, VA. June 2000.
Anchorage, Alaska, June 1999.
Boston, MA, July 1998.
Cleveland, OH, June 1998
San Francisco, CA, August 1997.
“American Economic History in the Twentieth Century.” One-Day course for K-12 Teachers sponsored by the Brown Foundation. January 25, 2014. Tucson, AZ. Conducted with Debbie Henney.
“American Economic History in the Twentieth Century.” Course for K-12 Teachers sponsored by the Brown Foundation. January 25, 2014. Tucson, AZ.
Taught Macroeconomics to High School Teachers, Sponsored by Brown Foundation
Tucson, Arizona, June 6-12, 2013.
Taught two week course on Market Economies in Pecs, Hungary for the U.S. Information Agency and the University of Arizona Office of International Programs, March 8 to March 19, 1993.
Taught two week course on Market Economies in Bulgaria for the U.S. Information Agency and the University of Arizona Office of International Programs, September 23 to October 4, 1991.
Lectured in the Chamber of Commerce Institute in Athens, Georgia.
Academic Editor of Book Series with University of Chicago Press on Markets and Governments in Economic History.
Report on Workers’ Compensation in the Horse Racing Industry for Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and American Quarter Horse Association
I have testified and was deposed in the court proceeding Erika Crackel, now known as Erika Guenther and Tammie Guenther, now known as Tammie Drannan v. Allstate Insurance Company. Superior Court of the State of Arizona in Pima County, Case No. 329946. My testimony in that case was given on September 26, 2001.
I wrote a report, was deposed and testified in Estevan Leal and Denise Leal vs. Allstate Insurance Company, Maricopa County Superior Court, Case No. CV99-11924. My testimony in that case was given on February 11th, 2005.
I wrote a report and was deposed in Sabrina and Lorenzo Young v. Allstate Insurance Company, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, Case No. CV-00-01607-PHX-JAT.
I have written reports in two additional cases: Eddie Montoya Lopez v. Allstate Insurance Company, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, Case No. CIV 00-2205 PHX JWS, and Brian Milhone v. Allstate Insurance Company, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, Case No. CIV-01-96-PHX-JAT.
I wrote a report in a criminal proceeding against Western Union related to illegal immigration in summer 2009.
I wrote a report on September 25, 2010 and testified on November 10, 2010 in Roxanne Martinez, Charlie Jimenez, Jr, Adan, Carriaga, and Christa Okon v. Allstate Insurance Company. First Judicial District Court, County of Santa Fe, State of New Mexico. I testified on November 10, 2010.