Autos and the National Industrial Recovery Act: Evidence on Macroeconomic Complementarities

Russell Cooper and John C. Haltiwanger, The Quarterly Journal of Economics 108(4), 1043-1071, January .


This paper investigates the Automobile Industry code negotiated in 1933 and modified in 1935 under the National Industrial Recovery Act. The amended code contained a provision calling for automobile producers to alter the timing of new model introductions and the annual automobile show as a means of regularizing employment in the industry. Our analysis of this period provides evidence against the hypothesis that changes in fundamentals led to the dramatic changes in the seasonal pattern of production and sales starting in 1935. Instead, it appears that the National Industrial Recovery Act succeeded in coordinating activity on an alternative Nash equilibrium.

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