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Evaluating Rational Partisan Business Cycle Theory

  • Steven M. Sheffrin

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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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

Volume (Year): 1 (1989)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 239-259

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:1:y:1989:i:3:p:239-259
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