The purpose of this study is to further understand whether or not the war loan drives that were conducted during World War II did in fact alter bond buying behavior for consumers. The hypothesis of the study is as follows: the use of war loan drives and incentives played a role in increasing the purchasing of war bonds. A historical analysis was conducted on the implementation of the World War II war loan drive program and the propaganda that was released as a result. I then compared the motivations that American’s had for purchasing bonds to the themes presented in the propaganda. As a result of this comparison, I discovered that American’s cited many of the same motivations used in the propaganda as their reasons for purchase bonds. Using a theory of social preferences and incentives developed by Samuel Bowles and Sandra Polania-Reyes, an empirical analysis was conducted on public opinion data spanning from 1943 to 1944. This data consisted of the different control variables gender, race, size of area population, and occupation and the bond buying habits of participants. Based on the analysis it was discovered that there was a statistically significant relationship in the negative direction between the war loan drives and the bond buying behavior of participants.


Mellizo, Phillip

Second Advisor

Holt, Katherine


Economics; History


Behavioral Economics | Cultural History | Social History


War Bonds, World War II, Incentives

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Alexander M. Rentzepis