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Deconstructing the MonolithThe Microeconomics of the National Industrial Recovery Act$
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Jason E. Taylor

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226603308

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226603445.001.0001

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The NIRA Compliance Mechanism in Theory and Practice

The NIRA Compliance Mechanism in Theory and Practice

(p.107) 6 The NIRA Compliance Mechanism in Theory and Practice
Deconstructing the Monolith

Jason E. Taylor

University of Chicago Press

This chapter details the government’s complex system of enforcement under the NIRA. While a major weapon the NRA had at its disposal was the removal of the Blue Eagle emblem, this step was generally only taken after many weeks (or months) of pressure applied via letters, telegrams, visits from field adjusters, or hearings at local NRA compliance offices. The NRA could also recommend prosecution—fines and imprisonment could be imposed against violators who lost in the courts. Such legal maneuvers were relatively rare, however. In total, around 166,000 cases of alleged violations were docketed by the NRA. Although the majority of these were successfully “adjusted,” there were around 37,000 cases whereby the government was not successful in bringing compliance. Of these, cases, only 3,000 resulted in removal of the Blue Eagle emblem, and only 550 cases were brought to court. Thus, most violators of the NRA escaped any form of punishment. This chapter provides several case studies of the NRA’s attempts to punish firms that continued in violation long after the initial attempts to bring about adjustment had failed. These cases help illustrate the important issues the NRA faced in enforcement of the program.

Keywords:   cartel, enforcement, Blue Eagle

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