Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

On Tariffs and the American Civil War

| May 26, 2017

A new piece that I wrote on the role of tariffs in the American Civil War era is now available at the Essential Civil War Curriculum, hosted by Virginia Tech. This article is an encyclopedia-style overview of my research on the subject as well as what other scholars have written, but it provides a short […]

Philanthropy and the Great Depression: what historical tax records tell us about charity

| May 19, 2017

As part of my ongoing investigation into early 20th century tax policy, I recently compiled a data series to track patterns in charitable giving during the 1920s and 1930s. As a result of tax code changes in 1917, the IRS began allowing federal income tax payers to deduct up to 15% of their taxable income […]

Different Measurements of Income Inequality – the interwar Wisconsin Example

| May 16, 2017

I have a new paper, co-written with Vincent Geloso, on the measurement of inequality in Wisconsin between 1919 and 1941. The discussion’s geography¬†may initially seem obscure, but there’s a method to this investigation. In the early part of the 20th century Wisconsin had a stable state income tax system and, more importantly, generated high quality […]