Macroeconomic time consistency and wartime presidential approval
A comparative analysis on the influence of war and the macroeconomy upon incumbent approval during the Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts. Inflation, unemployment, war rallies, and soldier casualties are systematic factors upon popularity in each of the three wartime periods. The casualty effect upon approval is greatest during the Vietnam Conflict, while economic influence is greatest during the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. The median citizen’s macroeconomic preference is approximately time consistent in all three episodes, with an inflation target of zero and an unemployment target close to the natural unemployment rate. This implies that wartime macroeconomic overheating likely causes popularity to decline.
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