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Partisan Impacts on the Economy: Evidence from Prediction Markets and Close Elections

Author

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  • Snowberg, Erik
  • Wolfers, Justin
  • Zitzewitz, Eric

Abstract

Political economists interested in discerning the effects of election outcomes on the economy have been hampered by the problem that economic outcomes also influence elections. We sidestep these problems by analyzing movements in economic indicators caused by clearly exogenous changes in expectations about the likely winner during election day. Analyzing high frequency financial fluctuations on November 2 and 3 in 2004, we find that markets anticipated higher equity prices, interest rates and oil prices and a stronger dollar under a Bush presidency than under Kerry. A similar Republican-Democrat differential was also observed for the 2000 Bush-Gore contest. Prediction market based analyses of all Presidential elections since 1880 also reveal a similar pattern of partisan impacts, suggesting that electing a Republican President raises equity valuations by 2-3 percent, and that since Reagan, Republican Presidents have tended to raise bond yields.

Suggested Citation

  • Snowberg, Erik & Wolfers, Justin & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2006. "Partisan Impacts on the Economy: Evidence from Prediction Markets and Close Elections," CEPR Discussion Papers 5591, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5591
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Scholes, Myron & Williams, Joseph, 1977. "Estimating betas from nonsynchronous data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 309-327, December.
    2. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "Interpreting prediction market prices as probabilities," Working Paper Series 2006-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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    8. Cutler, David M, 1988. "Tax Reform and the Stock Market: An Asset Price Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1107-1117, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    elections; event study; partisan effects; political economy;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt

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