Institutions and Government Growth: A Comparison of the 1890s and the 1930s

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2008-020B

26 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2008 Last revised: 15 Oct 2009

See all articles by Thomas A. Garrett

Thomas A. Garrett

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Research Division

Andrew F Kozak

Saint Mary's College of Maryland (Deceased)

Russell M. Rhine

St. Mary's College of Maryland - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 13, 2009

Abstract

Statistics on the size and growth of the U.S. federal government, along with the rhetoric of President Franklin Roosevelt, seem to indicate that the Great Depression was the event that started the dramatic growth in government spending and intervention in the private sector that has continued to the present day. Through a comparison of the economic conditions of the 1890s and the 1930s, we argue that post-1930 government growth in the United States is not the direct result of the Great Depression, but rather is a result of institutional, legal, and social changes that began in the late 1800s.

Keywords: Government Growth, Great Depression

JEL Classification: N41, N42, H2, H5, B1

Suggested Citation

Garrett, Thomas A. and Kozak, Andy and Rhine, Russell M., Institutions and Government Growth: A Comparison of the 1890s and the 1930s (October 13, 2009). Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2008-020B, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1152387 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1152387

Thomas A. Garrett (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Research Division ( email )

411 Locust St
Saint Louis, MO 63011
United States

Andy Kozak

Saint Mary's College of Maryland (Deceased)

Russell M. Rhine

St. Mary's College of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

18952 E. Fisher Road
St. Mary's City, MD 20686-3001
United States

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