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Do Canadian Business Cycle Peaks Predict Federal Election Calls?

This paper examines the regularity that business cycle peaks and federal elections often arise together in parliamentary democracies as it applies to Canadian data over the post Confederation time period (1870 onwards). Breaking the simultaneity of these two events and properly identifying causality is possible we argue only if we address carefully the selection issue associated with observed events. Our results suggest that it is business cycle peaks that lead federal elections rather than the other way around. While such a finding reinforces the hypothesis of strategic election timing, the result is also insightful because it helps to explain why the predicted presence of a political business cycle is harder to find in parliamentary governments where the date of the next election is under the control of the governing political party than in democratic systems where governing durations and election dates are fixed.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176268012000584
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Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 11-03.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 25 Apr 2011
Date of revision: 07 May 2012
Publication status: Published: Do Business Cycle Peaks Predict Election Calls in Canada? European Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 29, No. 7 (March 2013), pp. 102–118
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:11-03
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