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Grant number: FT-254873-17

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Jefferson Decker
Rutgers University, New Brunswick (New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8559)

The Stock Market and the Politics of Financial Security, 1974-2000

A book-length study of the late 20th-century stock market and its impact on public policy and on the public's understanding of the national economy.

Bull: The Stock Market and the Politics of Financial Security, 1974-2000 describes an era of “good times” that helped to transform social institutions and reshape public policy, namely the 1982-2000 bull market in U.S. stocks. During that nearly two-decade stretch, the S&P 500 index of major U.S. stocks increased in value thirteen times over, generating annual returns nearly twice their historical average. And what happened in the market itself was not nearly as interesting as its impact on U.S. politics and intellectual life. The long bull market became the prism though which many Americans understood changes in the national economy and passed judgment on public policies. It weighed on policymakers as they discussed how to reform pensions, manage budget deficits, regulate Wall Street, or plan for the future of Social Security. It was a period in U.S. financial history that was also a period in U.S. political history.

Project fields:
American Studies; Political History; U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 7/31/2017