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Political cycles and economic performance in OECD countries: Empirical evidence from 1951-2006

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  • Potrafke, Niklas

Abstract

This paper examines whether electoral motives and government ideology influence short-term economic performance. I employ data on annual GDP growth in 21 OECD countries over the 1951-2006 period and provide a battery of empirical tests. In countries with two-party systems GDP growth is boosted before elections and, under leftwing governments, in the first two years of a legislative period. These findings indicate that political cycles are more prevalent in two-party systems because voters can clearly punish or reward political parties for governmental performance. My findings imply that we need more elaborate theories of how government ideology and electoral motives influence short-term economic performance.

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  • Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Political cycles and economic performance in OECD countries: Empirical evidence from 1951-2006," Munich Reprints in Economics 19272, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19272
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    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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