Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Hoover and Wages in the Depression: A Comment on Douglas MacKenzie: A Rejoinder

The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Volume 14, Number 4 (Winter 2011)


It is suggested in Daniel Kuehn’s article in this issue (2011) that MacKenzie (2010) is wrong about Hoover’s effectiveness in pushing a high wage policy that caused high unemployment. About 80 percent of the argument is predicated on the proposition that modern empirical work by others (not the author) shows that wages are pro-cyclical, and that empirical works by the likes of Gallaway (2010), Taylor and Selgin (1999), and Gallaway and Vedder (1997) suffer from aggregation bias, picking up an  argument used by Brad DeLong (1998) and others. He fails to mention work  by Austrians on this period, most notably Murray Rothbard (1963), and even at the time of the Depression, by such then-Austrian fellow travelers as Lionel Robbins (1934), not to mention later by others such as Benjamin Anderson (1949). A second, lesser point, of the author is that a new journal article by Rose (2010) suggests that the Hoover unemployment conferences beginning in late 1929 did not have the purported impact (Rose’s paper came out roughly simultaneously with MacKenzie’s fine work).

Volume 14, Number 4 (Winter 2011)


Vedder, Richard, and Lowell Gallaway. “Hoover and Wages in the Depression: A Comment on Douglas MacKenzie: A Rejoinder.” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 14, No. 4 (Winter 2011): 454–461.

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