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Do business cycle peaks predict election calls in Canada?

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  • Voia, Marcel-Cristian
  • Ferris, J. Stephen

Abstract

This paper examines the empirical regularity that in Canada business cycle peaks and federal elections have tended to arise together over the long post-Confederation time period following 1867. We argue that rather than being simultaneous, the two events are related sequentially and that causality can be identified properly if the selection issue associated with observed events is addressed carefully. Our results suggest that business cycle peaks lead federal elections rather than the other way around. Such a finding reinforces the hypothesis of strategic election timing for such countries and is insightful in helping to explain why the presence of a political business cycle is harder to establish for parliamentary governments where the date of the next election is under the control of the incumbent governing party than in democratic systems where governing durations and election dates are fixed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 29 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 102-118

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:29:y:2013:i:c:p:102-118

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

Related research

Keywords: Election timing; Political business cycles; Selection models; Causality; Election hazard;

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References

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  1. Ferris, J. Stephen & Park, Soo-Bin & Winer, Stanley L., 2008. "Studying the role of political competition in the evolution of government size over long horizons," POLIS Working Papers 111, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
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  14. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Do Electoral Cycles Differ Across Political Systems?," Working Papers 232, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  15. Cargill, Thomas F & Hutchison, Michael M, 1991. "Political Business Cycles with Endogenous Election Timing: Evidence from Japan," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 733-39, November.
  16. Alastair Smith, 1996. "Endogenous Election Timing In Majoritarian Parliamentary Systems ," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 85-110, 07.
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  18. Heckelman, Jac C., 2001. "Partisan Business Cycles under Variable Election Dates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 261-275, April.
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