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Economic policy and the presidential election cycle in stock returns

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  • Ray Sturm

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Abstract

Many papers in the academic literature have documented a “Presidential Election” cycle in stock returns. Prior literature also documents that stock returns appear to be influenced by economic policy. The goal of this study is to examine the tools of fiscal and monetary policy to test for the presence of a presidential election cycle. The findings strongly suggest that the presidential election cycle in stock returns and the government’s economic policy influence on stock returns are two separate phenomena. Moreover, it is much more likely that stock returns are influencing economic policy rather than the other way around. However, the findings also suggest that tax legislation may drive the Presidential Election Cycle. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Ray Sturm, 2013. "Economic policy and the presidential election cycle in stock returns," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 37(2), pages 200-215, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jecfin:v:37:y:2013:i:2:p:200-215
    DOI: 10.1007/s12197-011-9179-6
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12197-011-9179-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2005. "What Explains the Stock Market's Reaction to Federal Reserve Policy?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1221-1257, June.
    2. Jinliang Li & Jeffery A. Born, 2006. "Presidential Election Uncertainty And Common Stock Returns In The United States," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 29(4), pages 609-622.
    3. Thorbecke, Willem, 1997. " On Stock Market Returns and Monetary Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 635-654, June.
    4. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2010. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 763-801, June.
    5. Ray Sturm, 2009. "The 'other' January effect and the presidential election cycle," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(17), pages 1355-1363.
    6. Xiaofeng Zhao & Kartono Liano & William G. Hardin, 2004. "Presidential Election Cycles and the Turn-of-the-Month Effect," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 85(4), pages 958-973.
    7. Dopke, Jorg & Pierdzioch, Christian, 2006. "Politics and the stock market: Evidence from Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 925-943, December.
    8. Gartner, Manfred & Wellershoff, Klaus W., 1995. "Is there an election cycle in American stock returns?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 387-410.
    9. 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.
    10. Sellin, Peter, 2001. " Monetary Policy and the Stock Market: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 491-541, September.
    11. Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2003. "The Presidential Puzzle: Political Cycles and the Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 1841-1872, October.
    12. Darrat, Ali F, 1988. "On Fiscal Policy and the Stock Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(3), pages 353-363, August.
    13. Gartner, Manfred, 1994. "The quest for political cycles in OECD economies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 427-440, October.
    14. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    15. Darrat, Ali F., 1990. "Stock Returns, Money, and Fiscal Deficits," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(03), pages 387-398, September.
    16. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    17. David A. Becher & Gerald R. Jensen & Jeffrey M. Mercer, 2008. "Monetary Policy Indicators As Predictors Of Stock Returns," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 31(4), pages 357-379.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political business cycles 40 years after Nordhaus," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 235-259, January.
    2. repec:eee:ecofin:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:546-563 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ray R. Sturm, 2016. "Is There a Presidential Election Cycle in Firm Financials?," Review of Pacific Basin Financial Markets and Policies (RPBFMP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 19(02), pages 1-18, June.
    4. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political Business Cycles 40 Years after Nordhaus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01291401, HAL.
    5. repec:hal:journl:hal-01291401 is not listed on IDEAS

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