The Economic Determinants of U.S. Presidential Approval - A Survey
AbstractEven after four decades of research it remains unclear, whether presidential popularity depends on the state of the economy. While about half of all studies for the United States find a significant effect of unemployment and inflation on presidential popularity, the others do not. Additional economic issues have rarely been studied. In this survey article we study the likely causes for the inconclusive findings. While various factors have an influence on the results, especially the choice of the sample period is of crucial importance. While in the very long run we find unemployment, inflation and the budget deficit to have a robust effect on presidential approval, this holds not true for shorter sub-periods. This result might indicate that the popularity function is instable over time. However, the findings might also be taken as an indication that the most often employed linear estimation approach is inadequate. Further research on these issues is necessary.
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 University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 272.
Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://leuphana.de/institute/ivwl.html
presidential popularity; approval; unemployment; inflation;
Other versions of this item:
- Michael Berlemann & Sören Enkelmann, 2012. "The Economic Determinants of U.S. Presidential Approval -A Survey-," CESifo Working Paper Series 3761, CESifo Group Munich.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1990. "Economic Performance, Voting, and Political Support: A Unified Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 313-20, May.
- Geys, Benny, 2009. "Wars, presidents and popularity: The political cost(s) of war re-examined," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2009-11, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Smyth, David J. & Taylor, Susan Washburn, 1992. "Inflation-unemployment trade-offs of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents: Empirical evidence on the partisan theory," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 47-57.
- Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2007.
"Taxation and presidential approval: separate effects from tax burden and tax structure turbulence,"
Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance
SP II 2007-09, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Benny Geys & Jan Vermeir, 2008. "Taxation and presidential approval: separate effects from tax burden and tax structure turbulence?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 301-317, June.
- Schwert, G William, 1989.
"Tests for Unit Roots: A Monte Carlo Investigation,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
American Statistical Association, vol. 7(2), pages 147-59, April.
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
- Gebhard Kirchgässner, 1985. "Causality testing of the popularity function: An empirical investigation for the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971–1982," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 155-173, January.
- Smyth, David J & Dua, Pami & Taylor, Susan Washburn, 1994. " Voters and Macroeconomics: Are They Forward Looking or Backward Looking?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 78(3-4), pages 283-93, March.
- Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992.
"Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 1997.
"Lag Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power,"
Boston College Working Papers in Economics
369, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2000.
- Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001. "LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
- Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. " The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-45, June.
- 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.
- Tomasz Wisniewski & Geoffrey Lightfoot & Simon Lilley, 2012. "Speculating on presidential success: exploring the link between the price–earnings ratio and approval ratings," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 106-122, January.
- E. Roy Weintraub & Evelyn L. Forget, 2007. "Introduction," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 39(5), pages 1-6, Supplemen.
- Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992.
"Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
- Kwiatkowski, D. & Phillips, P.C.B. & Schmidt, P., 1990. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of Unit Root : How Sure are we that Economic Time Series have a Unit Root?," Papers 8905, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
- Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Winder, Robert C., 1992. "Presidential popularity and the economy : A note on demographic differences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 91-99, June.
- 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.
- Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1997. "The grievance asymmetry revisited: A micro study of economic voting in Denmark,1986-1992," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 81-99, February.
- Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2009. "The Lost Popularity Function: Are Unemployment and Inflation no longer Relevant for the Bahaviour of German Voters?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2882, CESifo Group Munich.
- David Smyth & Pami Dua & Susan Washburn Taylor, 1995. "Structural change in the relationship between presidential popularity and inflation and unemployment: the Nixon and Ford presidencies," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(9), pages 305-307.
- Enkelmann, Sören & Berlemann, Michael & Kuhlenkasper, Torben, 2013.
"Unraveling the Relationship between Presidential Approval and the Economy - A Multi-Dimensional Semi-Parametric Approach,"
Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order
79836, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
- Michael Berlemann & Soeren Enkelmann & Torben Kuhlenkasper, 2013. "Unraveling the Relationship between Presidential Approval and the Economy - A Multi-Dimensional Semi-Parametric Approach," Working Paper Series in Economics 273, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
- Berlemann, Michael & Enkelmann, Soeren & Kuhlenkasper, Torben, 2012. "Unraveling the complexity of US presidential approval: A multi-dimensional semi-parametric approach," HWWI Research Papers 118, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
- Soeren Enkelmann, 2013. "Government Popularity and the Economy First Evidence from German Micro Data," Working Paper Series in Economics 274, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
- Sören Enkelmann, 2014. "Government popularity and the economy: first evidence from German microdata," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 999-1017, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Wagner).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.