The Journal of Economic History


Political Shocks and Investment: Some Evidence from the 1930s

Thomas Mayer and Monojit Chatterji


There has been some dispute about the impact of New Deal policies on the business climate. Some historians have argued that the New Deal frightened business, and others that it encouraged business. This paper analyzes the impact of the New Deal on business investment by looking at the response of investment to the outcome of the 1934, 1936, and 1938 elections, as well as the passage of certain New Deal legislation. The data reject the hypothesis that the New Deal frightened off business investment.