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Does the World Economy Swing National Elections?

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  • Andrew Leigh

Abstract

Do voters reward national leaders who are more competent economic managers, or merely those who happen to be in power when the world economy booms? Using data from 268 democratic elections held between 1978 and 1999, I compare the effect of world growth (luck) and national growth relative to world growth (competence). Both matter, but the effect of luck is larger than the effect of competence. Voters are more likely to reward competence in countries that are richer and better educated; and there is some suggestive evidence that media penetration rates affect the returns to luck and competence. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Department of Economics, University of Oxford, 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Does the World Economy Swing National Elections?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(2), pages 163-181, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:71:y:2009:i:2:p:163-181
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why We Choose Presidents Based on the Wrong Issues
      by Ilya Somin in The Volokh Conspiracy on 2012-10-02 06:38:43

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul J. Burke & Andrew Leigh, 2010. "Do Output Contractions Trigger Democratic Change?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 124-157, October.
    2. Rosa C. Hayes & Masami Imai & Cameron A. Shelton, 2015. "Attribution Error In Economic Voting: Evidence From Trade Shocks," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 258-275, January.
    3. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Beautiful Politicians," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 579-593, November.
    4. John Maloney & Andrew Pickering, "undated". "Voting and the macroeconomy: separating trend from cycle," Discussion Papers 11/14, Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. Gikas A. Hardouvelis & Dimitrios D. Thomakos, 2007. "Consumer Confidence and Elections," Working Paper series 42_07, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    6. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2013. "Elections, leaders, and the composition of government spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 18-31.
    7. Prato, Carlo & Wolton, Stephane, 2014. "The Voters' Curses: The Upsides and Downsides of Political Engagement," MPRA Paper 53482, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Harry Garretsen & Janka I. Stoker & Rob Alessie & Joris Lammers, 2014. "Simply a Matter of Luck & Looks? Predicting Elections when Both the World Economy and the Psychology of Faces Count," CESifo Working Paper Series 4857, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2010. "Do Elections Matter for Economic Performance," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-35, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. Simonovits, Gábor, 2010. "A gazdasági integráció hatása a kormányzati elszámoltathatóságra
      [The effect of economic integration on government accountability]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 980-993.
    11. Carlos Seixas & António Brandão & Manuel Luís Costa, 2013. "Policy Choices by an Incumbent - A Case with Down-Up Problem, Bias Beliefs and Retrospective Voting," FEP Working Papers 485, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    12. Carlos Viana de Carvalho & Eduardo Zilberman & Ruy Ribeiro, "undated". "Sentiment, Electoral Uncertainty and Stock Returns," Textos para discussão 655, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    13. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2010. "Why Do You Vote and Vote as You Do?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 495-516, November.
    14. Burke Paul J., 2012. "Economic Growth and Political Survival," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-43, March.
    15. repec:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:54-75 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Cáceres, Neila & Malone, Samuel W., 2015. "Optimal Weather Conditions, Economic Growth, and Political Transitions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 16-30.
    17. Cáceres, Neila & Malone, Samuel W., 2013. "Forecasting leadership transitions around the world," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 575-591.
    18. John Maloney & Andrew Pickering, 2008. "Ideology, Competence and Luck: What determines general election results?," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 08/607, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    19. repec:rim:rimwps:42-07 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:tek:journl:v:5:y:2016:i:1:p:25-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Cole, Shawn & Healy, Andrew & Werker, Eric, 2012. "Do voters demand responsive governments? Evidence from Indian disaster relief," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 167-181.
    22. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2009. "Democracy's Achilles Heel or, How to Win an Election without Really Trying," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2009-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    23. Ivo Bischoff & Lars-H. Siemers, 2013. "Biased beliefs and retrospective voting: why democracies choose mediocre policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 163-180, July.
    24. John Maloney & Andrew Pickering, 2015. "Voting and the economic cycle," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(1), pages 119-133, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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