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Political Ideology and Economic Growth in a Democracy: The French Experience, 1871 - 2009

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This paper examines the influence of political ideology on economic growth in the French democracy since 1871. It does so by addressing three main issues : the property and the reliability of a political ideology index in the long-run, the robustness of the relationship between ideology and growth and the specific channels through which political ideology affects economic performance. The main conclusion is that, compared with right-wing parties in power, left-wing governments have promoted equity at the expense of economic growth. It also appears that the main channel through which political ideology has impacted economic performance all along the French democratic experience is the budgetary tool (i.e. fiscal and redistributive policies) which influenced employment and income inequalities. By contrast, there seems to be less or even no empirical support for explanations based on the monetary policy or regulation, such as trade policies or the labor market regulation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 12003.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:12003

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Keywords: French economic history; 19th century; 20th century; political ideology; partisanship; growth; government performance; fiscal policy; public spending; unemployment; inequality.;

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