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The Information Content of Elections and Varieties of the Partisan Political Business Cycle

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  • Cameron A. Shelton

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    (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)

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    Abstract

    This event study uses economic forecasts and opinion polls to measure the response of expectations to election surprise. Use of forecast data complements older work on partisan cycles by allowing a tighter link between election and response thereby mitigating concerns of endogeneity and omitted variables. I fin that forecasters respond swiftly and significantly to election surprise. I further argue that the response ought to vary across countries with different institutional foundations. In support, I find that there exist three distinct patterns in forecasters' responses to partisan surprise corresponding to Hall and Soskice's three varieties of capitalism. In liberal market economies, forecasters expect the left to achieve jobless growth with virtually no cost to inflation. In Mediterranean market economies, forecasters expect the left to achieve deliver both higher output growth and lower unemployment but with higher inflation. And in coordinated market economies, forecasters expect the left to deliver lower growth, higher unemployment, and higher inflation.

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    File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/cashelton/2007003_shelton.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Wesleyan University, Department of Economics in its series Wesleyan Economics Working Papers with number 2007-003.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2007-003

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    Keywords: political business cycle; varieties of capitalism; forecast data; opinion polls;

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Nouriel Roubini, 1990. "Political Cycles in OECD Economies," NBER Working Papers 3478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information: A Model of Monetary Nonneutrality and Structural Slumps," NBER Working Papers 8614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2011, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Avinash Dixit & Luisa Lambertini, 2003. "Interactions of Commitment and Discretion in Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 575, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-78, August.
    6. Giampiero M. Gallo & Clive W.J. Granger & Yongil Jeon, 2001. "Copycats and Common Swings: the Impact of the Use of Forecasts in Information Sets," Econometrics Working Papers Archive wp2001_01, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    7. Roubini, Nouriel & Alesina, Alberto, 1992. "Political Cycles in OECD Economies," Scholarly Articles 4553025, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Woodford Michael, 2002. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-53, February.
    10. Jac C. Heckelman, 2002. "Variable Rational Partisan Business Cycles: theory and some evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(3), pages 568-585, August.
    11. Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 1992. "Partisan theory after fifteen years," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-373, October.
    12. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    13. Evans, Charles L. & Marshall, David A., 2007. "Economic determinants of the nominal treasury yield curve," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1986-2003, October.
    14. Berlemann, Michael & Markwardt, Gunther, 2003. "Partisan cycles and pre-electoral uncertainty," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 01/03, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
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