Electoral Business Cycles in OECD Countries
AbstractStudies of OECD countries have generally failed to detect real economic expansions in the pre-election period, casting doubt on the existence of opportunistic political business cycles. We develop a theory that predicts a substantial portion of the economy experiences a real decline in the pre-election period. Specifically, the political uncertainty created by elections induces private actors to postpone investments with high costs of reversal. The resulting declines, referred to as reverse electoral business cycles, are larger the more competitive the electoral race and the greater the polarization between major parties. We test these predictions using quarterly data on private fixed investment in ten OECD countries between 1975 and 2006. The results suggest that reverse electoral business cycles exist, and as expected, depend on electoral competitiveness and partisan polarization. Moreover, simply by removing private fixed investment from gross domestic product (GDP), we uncover robust evidence of opportunistic cycles.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy in its series Papers with number 9-12-2010a.
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://weblamp.princeton.edu/rppe/papers/papers.php
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-03-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2011-03-19 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-MAC-2011-03-19 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-POL-2011-03-19 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pianta, Mario, 1995. "Technology and Growth in OECD Countries, 1970-1990," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 175-87, February.
- Dani Rodrik, 1989.
"Policy Uncertainty and Private Investment in Developing Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
2999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Policy uncertainty and private investment in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 229-242, October.
- Ernesto H. Stein & Jeffry Frieden & Piero Ghezzi, 2000. "Politics and Exchange Rates: A Cross-Country Approach to Latin America," Research Department Publications 3119, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Block, Steven A. & Vaaler, Paul M., 2004. "The price of democracy: sovereign risk ratings, bond spreads and political business cycles in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 917-946, October.
- Stein, Ernesto H. & Streb, Jorge M., 2004.
"Elections and the timing of devaluations,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 119-145, May.
- Ernesto H. Stein & Jorge M. Streb, 1999. "Elections and the Timing of Devaluations," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 140, Universidad del CEMA.
- Ernesto H. Stein & Jorge M. Streb, 1999. "Elections and the Timing of Devaluations," Research Department Publications 4164, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Garfinkel, Michelle R & Glazer, Amihai, 1994. "Does Electoral Uncertainty Cause Economic Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 169-73, May.
- Kevin Grier, 2008. "US presidential elections and real GDP growth, 1961–2004," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 337-352, June.
- David Stasavage, 2000. "Private Investment and Political Uncertainty," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 25, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Bruce Headey & Derek Headey, 2003. "German Reunification: Welfare Gains and Losses East and West," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 64(1), pages 107-138, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.