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Parties, Administrations, and American Macroeconomic Outcomes


  • Beck, Nathaniel


This study re-examines Hibbs's (1977b) findings on the impact of political party on unemployment rates for the postwar United States. With the use of data through the end of the Carter administration and slightly different methods, it is concluded that party has between one-third and one-half the impact on unemployment claimed by Hibbs. Administration is a better predictor of unemployment than is party; in particular, neither the Kennedy nor Carter administration behaved as Hibbs claims Democratic administrations should, nor did the Nixon administration behave as Hibbs claims Republican administrations should. The significance of whether administration or party is the better predictor of economic outcomes is explored.

Suggested Citation

  • Beck, Nathaniel, 1982. "Parties, Administrations, and American Macroeconomic Outcomes," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 83-93, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:apsrev:v:76:y:1982:i:01:p:83-93_18

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    Cited by:

    1. Alesina, Alberto & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(1), pages 63-82, February.
    2. Raphaël Soubeyran & Pascal Gautier, 2008. "Political Cycles: Issue Ownership and the Opposition Advantage," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 685-716, August.
    3. Gerson N. Cardoso & Geraldo E. Silva, 2024. "Electoral influences on the Brazilian B3 data correlation network," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 251-272, January.
    4. Benjamin Fordham, 1998. "Partisanship, Macroeconomic Policy, and U.S. Uses of Force, 1949-1994," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 42(4), pages 418-439, August.
    5. Alesina, Alberto & Londregan, John & Rosenthal, Howard, 1993. "A Model of the Political Economy of the United States," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 12-33, March.
    6. Faust, Jon & Irons, John S., 1999. "Money, politics and the post-war business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 61-89, February.
    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. Michael D. BORDO & Klodiana ISTREFI, 2019. "Why a FOMC member is a hawk or a dove? Ideology and Politics [Pourquoi un décideur est-il un « faucon » ou une « colombe » ? Idéologie et orientation politique]," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 224.
    9. Bordo, Michael & Istrefi, Klodiana, 2023. "Perceived FOMC: The making of hawks, doves and swingers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 125-143.
    10. Gerald Scully & D. Slottje, 1989. "The paradox of politics and policy in redistributing income," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 55-70, January.
    11. Reichenvater, Arno, 2007. "Business Cycles, Political Incentives and the Macroeconomy: Comparison of Models," MPRA Paper 5527, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Alberto Alesina, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-678.
    13. Takatoshi Ito, 1989. "Endogenous Election Timings and Political Business Cycles in Japan," NBER Working Papers 3128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Benjamin O. Fordham, 2002. "Another Look at “Parties, Voters, and the Use of Force Abroadâ€," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(4), pages 572-596, August.
    15. José Carlos Ferreira Da Silva & Vander Mendes Lucas & Moisés De Andrade Resende Filho, 2014. "Royalties Do Petróleo E Eleições Municipais: O Caso Brasileiro," Anais do XLI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 41st Brazilian Economics Meeting] 078, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    16. Kevin Grier, 2008. "US presidential elections and real GDP growth, 1961–2004," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 337-352, June.
    17. Lodewijk Smets & Stephen Knack & Nadia Molenaers, 2013. "Political ideology, quality at entry and the success of economic reform programs," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 447-476, December.
    18. Janet Pack, 1988. "The Congress and fiscal policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 101-122, August.
    19. Stephen Weymouth & J. Lawrence Broz, 2013. "Government Partisanship and Property Rights: Cross-Country Firm-Level Evidence," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 229-256, July.
    20. Robert Grafstein, 2000. "Employment, Party Economic Performance, and the Formation of Partisan Preferences," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 12(3), pages 325-351, July.
    21. 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 Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    22. Gavious, Arieh & Mizrahi, Shlomo, 2002. "Maximizing political efficiency via electoral cycles: An optimal control model," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 186-199, August.
    23. Warwick J. McKibbin & Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1987. "Dynamic Optimization in Two-Party Models," NBER Working Papers 2213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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