Financial asset ownership and political partisanship: Liberty Bonds and Republican Electoral Success in the 1920s

Eric Hilt, Wendy Rahn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

We analyze the effects of ownership of liberty bonds on election outcomes in the 1920s. We find that counties with higher liberty bond ownership rates turned against the Democratic Party in the presidential elections of 1920 and 1924. This was a reaction to the depreciation of the bonds prior to the 1920 election (when the Democrats held the presidency) and the appreciation of the bonds in the early 1920s (under a Republican president), as the Federal Reserve raised and then subsequently lowered interest rates. Our analysis suggests that the liberty bond campaigns had unintended political consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-781
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Economic History
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

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