Can the New Deal's Three R's be Rehabilitated? A Program-by-Program, County-by-County Analyis.
We examine the importance of Roosevelt’s “relief, recovery, and reform” motives to the distribution of New Deal funds across over 3000 US counties, program by program. The major relief programs most closely followed Roosevelt’s three Rs. Other programs were tilted more in favor of areas with higher incomes. For all programs spending for political advantage in upcoming elections was a significant factor. Roosevelt’s successful reelections were based on developing specific programs for a broad range of constituents, delivering on his stated goals, but also spending more at the margin for political purposes.