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Published in: Journal of Business and Economics Research, vol. 8 no. 5, 2010.

Abstract

This paper criticizes McChesney's (1990) hypothesis that the decisions to initially and subsequently terminate American Indian allotment were based on the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) interest to inflate their budget. By adopting a richer database on the BIA appropriations from 1877-1945 and correcting for model specification problems, I find no empirical evidence supporting any of McChesney's hypotheses concerning the bureaucratic demand for regulatory change. In fact, other large budgetary items, such as New Deal relief funding, Court of Claims judgments, and educational spending, crowded out BIA land management appropriations over these years. Interestingly, a cursory overview of this period illustrates how the BIA fought for less, rather than more, administrative control over Indian affairs.

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