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The Transformation of the American State: the New Era-New Deal Test
The Journal of Politics
  • Michael S. Lewis-Beck, University of Iowa
  • Peverill Squire
Document Type
Peer Reviewed
Publication Date
DOI of Published Version

Political scientists usually view the New Deal as transforming the American state. A sizable literature in economics and history, however, has cast doubt on the significance of the changes wrought by the FDR administration. In this paper we propose a model of the state, and then test important hypotheses about it. More specifically, we focus on the New Era-New Deal period to test how, if at all, the American state changed during this critical time in its history. We systematically analyze five state functions: stabilization, redistribution, regulation, police power, and administration. Within each category, quantitative policy measures are evaluated. Although the FDR administration produced many notable changes in government policy and structure, our analysis suggests that the American state, measured in these several ways, was not transformed from the New Era to the New Deal.

Journal Article Version
Version of Record
Published Article/Book Citation
The Journal of Politics, 53:1 (1991) pp. 106-121.
Copyright © 1991 Southern Political Science Association. Used by permission.
Citation Information
Michael S. Lewis-Beck and Peverill Squire. "The Transformation of the American State: the New Era-New Deal Test" The Journal of Politics Vol. 53 Iss. 1 (1991) p. 106 - 121 ISSN: 0022-3816
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