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Evaluating Rational Partisan Business Cycle Theory

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  • Steven M. Sheffrin

Abstract

This paper provides new tests of the recently developed theory of rational partisan business cycles. According to the theory, resolution of uncertainty about electoral consequences and partisan differences in economic behavior produce downturns following victories of conservative parties and booms following victories of liberal parties. The first tests utilize the behavior of financial markets to reassess the evidence for the United States. We provide evidence that the stock market does have predictive power for output and estimate an econometric relationship which is then used to gauge the extent to which the recessions are anticipated after elections. The second test uses an international sample of democracies in the postwar era to examine the theory outside the United States using time series models and political variables. The results of the tests provide little support for a strict interpretation of the theory. Copyright 1989 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..

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  • Steven M. Sheffrin, 1989. "Evaluating Rational Partisan Business Cycle Theory," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(3), pages 239-259, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:1:y:1989:i:3:p:239-259
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    Cited by:

    1. Alesina, Alberto F & Roubini, Nouriel, 1990. "Political Cycles in OECD Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Price, Simon, 1997. "Political Business Cycles and Macroeconomic Credibility: A Survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(3-4), pages 407-427, September.
    3. Berlemann, Michael & Markwardt, Gunther, 2003. "Partisan cycles and pre-electoral uncertainty," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 01/03, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    4. Berlemann, Michael & Markwardt, Gunther, 2006. "Variable rational partisan cycles and electoral uncertainty," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 874-886, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Belke, Ansgar, 2000. "Partisan Political Business Cycles in the German Labour Market? Empirical Tests in the Light of the Lucas-Critique," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(3-4), pages 225-283, September.
    7. Klein, Fabio Alvim & Sakurai, Sergio Naruhiko, 2015. "Term limits and political budget cycles at the local level: evidence from a young democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 21-36.
    8. Roubini, Nouriel & Alesina, Alberto, 1992. "Political Cycles in OECD Economies," Scholarly Articles 4553025, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Reichenvater, Arno, 2007. "Business Cycles, Political Incentives and the Macroeconomy: Comparison of Models," MPRA Paper 5527, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes, 2008. "The macroeconomic effect of external pressures on monetary policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 944, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Fabio Alvim Klein, 2014. "Do Opportunistic And Partisan Fiscalcycles Come Together?," Anais do XL Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 40th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 060, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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