Wage Theory, New Deal Labor Policy, and the Great Depression: Were Government and Unions to Blame?

  title={Wage Theory, New Deal Labor Policy, and the Great Depression: Were Government and Unions to Blame?},
  author={Bruce E. Kaufman},
  journal={Industrial \& Labor Relations Review},
  pages={501 - 532}
  • Bruce E. Kaufman
  • Published 1 July 2012
  • Economics
  • Industrial & Labor Relations Review
A growing number of economists blame the length and severity of the Great Depression on factors that rigidified wage rates, raised production costs, and interfered with the market allocation of labor. The target of their critique is President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal labor program, which they portray as creating a series of large negative supply shocks through encouragement of unions, minimum wages, unemployment insurance, and other anticompetitive industrial relations practices. The… 
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