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Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America

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Tags U.S. Economy

07/01/1997Lowell E. GallawayRichard Vedder

Professors Vedder and Gallaway provide a comprehensive examination of unemployment in the last century of American economic history, using a persuasive mix of Austrian theory (on money and business cycle), empirical methods, and narrative history. They show that government can produce all the unemployment it desires by intervening in the ability of the market to adjust wage rates according to prevailing economic conditions.

Amassing a huge amount of data, and examining the full range of existing literature and research, the authors target Keynesian fiscal demand-management and show that such policies as minimum wages, labor controls, unemployment compensation, and welfare have played significant roles in generating joblessness. They further show that the policies of both President Hoover and President Roosevelt prolonged and exacerbated unemployment during the Great Depression.


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