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Presidents and the US Economy from 1949 to 2016

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  • Timothy Kane

Abstract

Does the US economy perform better when the president of the United States is a Democrat or a Republican? This paper explores the economic growth rate during different presidencies using data from 1949 to 2016, and confirms the Democratic-Republican gap while also showing the gap depends entirely on an unrealistic lag structure. The gap disappears and loses significance when lags of four, three, or even two quarters are considered, which is what history and political science recommend is appropriate given the lag between political actions and economic consequences. A superior method of overlapping presidential responsibility for transition periods is presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Kane, 2017. "Presidents and the US Economy from 1949 to 2016," Economics Working Papers 17101, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hoo:wpaper:17101
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Burton A. Abrams, 2006. "How Richard Nixon Pressured Arthur Burns: Evidence from the Nixon Tapes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 177-188, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stone, Joe A. & Jacobs, David, 2020. "Presidential party affiliation and electoral cycles in the U.S. economy: Evidence from party changes in adjacent terms," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    U.S. Presidency; Economic Growth; Political Party;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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