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

  • Snowberg, Erik

    (Stanford U)

  • Wolfers, Justin

    (U of Pennsylvania)

  • Zitzewitz, Eric

    (Stanford U)

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.

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Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1928.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1928
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  1. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
  2. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for President," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 159-73, May.
  3. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  4. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "Interpreting prediction market prices as probabilities," Working Paper Series 2006-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Scholes, Myron & Williams, Joseph, 1977. "Estimating betas from nonsynchronous data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 309-327, December.
  6. 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.
  7. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  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 1107-17, December.
  9. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
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