IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Macroeconomic Policy and Elections in OECD Democracies

  • Cohen, Gerald
  • Alesina, Alberto
  • Roubini, Nouriel
Registered author(s):

    The purpose of this paper is to test for evidence of opportunistic "political business cycles" in a large sample of 18 OECD economies. Our results can be summarized as follows: 1) We find very little evidence of pre-electoral effects on economic outcomes, in particular, on GDP growth and unemployment; 2) We see some evidence of "political monetary cycles," that is, expansionary monetary policy in election years; 3) We also observe indications of "political budget cycles," or "loose" fiscal policy prior to elections; 4) Inflation exhibits a post-electoral jump, which could be explained by either the pre-electoral "loose" monetary and fiscal policies and/or by an opportunistic timing of increases in publicly controlled prices, or indirect taxes.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4553023.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 1992
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Economics & Politics
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4553023
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Littauer Center, Cambridge, MA 02138
    Phone: 617-495-2144
    Fax: 617-495-7730
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Alesina, Alberto & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Political Cycles in OECD Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 663-88, October.
    2. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," NBER Working Papers 2759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alesina, A. & Londregan, J.A. & Rosenthal, H., 1990. "A Model Of The Political Economy Of The United States," GSIA Working Papers 1990-27, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    5. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
    7. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1989. "Money, Income and Prices After the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 2852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
    9. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    10. Bizer, David S. & Durlauf, Steven N., 1990. "Testing the positive theory of government finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 123-141, August.
    11. Ito, Takatoshi, 1990. "The timing of elections and political business cycles in Japan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 135-156.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4553023. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ben Steinberg)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.