President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 authorized policies that today’s mainstream economic theory views as contractionary. During the depths of the Great Depression, however, many viewed the legislation not as a risky departure from orthodoxy, but instead as a collection of familiar measures that had already been implemented on a smaller scale.

Bernard C. Beaudreau is professor of economics at the University of Laval.
Jason E. Taylor is the Jerry and Felicia Campbell Professor of Economics at Central Michigan University.
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