What Was New About the New Deal?
During the presidential election of 1932 Franklin Roosevelt promised a New Deal for the American people. Our goal is to describe the changes wrought by the New Deal. To what extent did the New Deal expand existing programs? What new programs were created at all levels of government? How did the Federal government take over programs that had previously been the responsibility of state and local governments? We then survey the recent research that examines the impact of the programs. Finally, why did some programs persist and others fail?
Price Fishback received research support for this paper from National Science Foundation Grants SES-1061927 and SES- 0921732. The opinions expressed in this paper are our own and do not in any way represent the opinions and attitudes of the National Science Foundation. We would like to thank Charles Calomiris, Peter Fearon, and Alex Field for reading earlier drafts and providing valuable comments. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
“What Was New About the New Deal?” The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today, edited by Nicolas Crafts and Peter Fearon. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2013, with John Joseph Wallis, pp. 290-327.