A new look at the New Deal
Prof’s book examines economic impact of National Industrial Recovery Act
A new book by Central Michigan University economics professor Jason Taylor sheds new light on America's economic recovery following the Great Depression.
The University of Chicago Press published "Deconstructing the Monolith: The Microeconomics of the National Industrial Recovery Act" earlier this year.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the National Recovery Act in 1933 to boost the nation's recovery from the Great Depression. The policy forced companies to agree upon industry-level codes of competition that regulated wages, working hours, price fixing, production quotas and more.
Taylor said the impacts of the act have been traditionally examined through a macroeconomic lens, resulting in a harmful view for all industries. In his new book, Taylor chose instead to examine the policy using microeconomic tools to discover that the effects varied in each industry.
"Economists' treatment of the National Industrial Recovery Act as a monolith policy is a gross oversimplification; in fact, the program affected different industries differently," Taylor said.
Taylor has studied New Deal-era policies for more than 20 years and has written several scholarly articles on the effects of the NIRA.