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Political Cycles and Stock Returns

Listed author(s):
  • Pástor, Luboš
  • Veronesi, Pietro

We develop a model of political cycles driven by time-varying risk aversion. Heterogeneous agents make two choices: whether to work in the public or private sector and which of two political parties to vote for. The model implies that when risk aversion is high, agents are more likely to elect the party promising more fiscal redistribution. The model predicts higher average stock market returns under Democratic than Republican presidencies, explaining the well-known ``presidential puzzle." Under sufficient complementarity between the public and private sectors, the model also predicts faster economic growth under Democratic presidencies, which is observed in the data.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 11864.

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Date of creation: Feb 2017
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11864
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  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. Sachs, Jeffrey & Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Scholarly Articles 4553026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Knight*, Brian, 2007. "Are policy platforms capitalized into equity prices? Evidence from the Bush/Gore 2000 Presidential Election," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 389-409, February.
  4. Tavares, Jose, 2004. "Does right or left matter? Cabinets, credibility and fiscal adjustments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2447-2468, December.
  5. Bryan Kelly & Ľuboš Pástor & Pietro Veronesi, 2016. "The Price of Political Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence from the Option Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 71(5), pages 2417-2480, October.
  6. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political business cycles 40 years after Nordhaus," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 235-259, January.
  7. Pástor, Lˇuboš & Veronesi, Pietro, 2016. "Income inequality and asset prices under redistributive taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 1-20.
  8. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political Business Cycles 40 Years after Nordhaus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01291401, HAL.
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  11. Lubos Pástor & Pietro Veronesi, 2012. "Uncertainty about Government Policy and Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(4), pages 1219-1264, 08.
  12. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Keith Kuester & Juan Rubio-Ramírez, 2015. "Fiscal Volatility Shocks and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3352-3384, November.
  13. Pástor, Ľuboš & Veronesi, Pietro, 2013. "Political uncertainty and risk premia," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 520-545.
  14. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
  15. Belo, Frederico & Gala, Vito D. & Li, Jun, 2013. "Government spending, political cycles, and the cross section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 305-324.
  16. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," CRSP working papers 412, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
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  18. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
  19. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2016. "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1593-1636.
  20. 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.
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  28. repec:hal:journl:hal-01291401 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Reed, W. Robert, 2006. "Democrats, republicans, and taxes: Evidence that political parties matter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 725-750, May.
  30. Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  31. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
  32. Maria Boutchkova & Hitesh Doshi & Art Durnev & Alexander Molchanov, 2012. "Precarious Politics and Return Volatility," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(4), pages 1111-1154.
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