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Business Week, the Great Depression, and the Coming of Keynesianism to America

Research in Economic History

ISBN: 978-1-78973-304-4, eISBN: 978-1-78973-303-7

Publication date: 26 August 2019


The editorials of the then-new Business Week during the 1929–1933 contraction offered sophisticated Keynesian policy prescriptions: against a laissez-faire response, against deflation, against balanced-budget fetishism, for monetary expansion. These editorials, which seem to have been largely forgotten, likely played a considerable role in the dissemination of Keynesian economics in the United States in the 1930s. This chapter reviews the editorials and their congruence with Keynes’s writings. The magazine’s archives, including surveys of their readers, suggest that the editorials were among the most read and most valued parts of the magazine. The magazine cultivated an elite executive readership at that time, so the editorials may well have been important in gaining business support for Keynesian policies in the early New Deal.




Comments and suggestions by the editor and referee at this journal were immensely helpful. I also wish to thank David Andrews, Robert Dimand, Jason Taylor, Janice Traflet, and Charles Whalen, as well as seminar participants at the Oberlin College, the State University of New York at Oswego, the Canadian Economic Association, the Economic and Business History Society, and the Post-Keynesian Conference. For help in securing vital research materials, I wish to thank Jackie Kilberg of McGraw-Hill and Marge McNinch of the Hagley Museum and Library.


Dighe, R.S. (2019), "Business Week, the Great Depression, and the Coming of Keynesianism to America ", Research in Economic History (Research in Economic History, Vol. 35), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 25-57.



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