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Macroeconomic time consistency and wartime presidential approval

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  • Fox, Gerald T.
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    Abstract

    A comparative analysis on the influence of war and the macroeconomy upon incumbent approval during the Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts. Inflation, unemployment, war rallies, and soldier casualties are systematic factors upon popularity in each of the three wartime periods. The casualty effect upon approval is greatest during the Vietnam Conflict, while economic influence is greatest during the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. The median citizen’s macroeconomic preference is approximately time consistent in all three episodes, with an inflation target of zero and an unemployment target close to the natural unemployment rate. This implies that wartime macroeconomic overheating likely causes popularity to decline.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 891-902

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:34:y:2012:i:3:p:891-902

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

    Related research

    Keywords: Presidential job approval; Macroeconomic time consistency; Macroeconomic policy; Unemployment; Inflation; War;

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    1. Sachs, Jeffrey & Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Scholarly Articles 4553026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Fox, Gerald & Phillips, Earl N., 2003. "Interrelationship between presidential approval, presidential votes and macroeconomic performance, 1948-2000," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 411-424, September.
    3. Ray C. Fair, 1976. "The Effects of Economic Events on Votes for President," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 418, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1983. "Presidential Popularity and Macroeconomic Performance: Are Voters Really So Naive?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 385-92, August.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Jeffrey Sachs, 1986. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," NBER Working Papers 1940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David Smyth & Pami Dua, 1989. "The public's indifference map between inflation and unemployment: Empirical evidence for the Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan presidencies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 71-85, January.
    7. Douglas Hibbs, 2008. "Implications of the ‘bread and peace’ model for the 2008 US presidential election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 1-10, October.
    8. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
    9. Susan W. Taylor & David J. Smyth & Pami Dua, 1999. "Estimating the public's social preference function between inflation and unemployment using survey data: The survey research center versus Gallup," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 361-372.
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    Cited by:
    1. Abo-Zaid, Salem, 2014. "Revisions to US labor market data and the public’s perception of the economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 119-124.

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