EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

After Johnny Came Marching Home: The Political Economy of Veterans' Benefits in the Nineteenth Century

Sung Won Kang and Hugh Rockoff ()

No 13223, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: This paper explores new estimates of the number of veterans and the value of veterans' benefits -- both cash benefits and land grants -- from the Revolution to 1900. Benefits, it turns out, varied substantially from war to war. The veterans of the War of 1812, in particular, received a smaller amount of benefits than did the veterans of the other nineteenth century wars. A number of factors appear to account for the differences across wars. Some are familiar from studies of other government programs: the previous history of veterans' benefits, the wealth of the United States, the number of veterans relative to the population, and the lobbying efforts of lawyers and other agents employed by veterans. Some are less familiar. There were several occasions, for example, when public attitudes toward the war appeared to influence the amount of benefits. Perhaps the most important factor, however, was the state of the federal treasury. When the federal government ran a surplus, veterans were likely to receive additional benefits; when it ran a deficit, veterans' hopes for additional benefits went unfilled. Veterans' benefits were, to use the terms a bit freely, more like a luxury than a necessity.

JEL-codes: N11 N4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-pol
Date: 2007-07
Note: DAE POL
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Kang, Sung Won and Hugh Rockoff. “After Johnny Came Marching Home: The Political Economy of Veterans Benefits in the Nineteenth Century.” ” In Public Choice Analyses of American Economic History, volume 2, Joshua Hall and Marcus Witcher eds., Springer Nature, 2018, 27-56.

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w13223.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13223

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w13223

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-08-20
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13223