The Economic Determinants of U.S. Presidential Approval - A Survey
Even after four decades of research it remains unclear, whether presidential popularity depends on the state of the economy. While about half of all studies for the United States find a significant effect of unemployment and inflation on presidential popularity, the others do not. Additional economic issues have rarely been studied. In this survey article we study the likely causes for the inconclusive findings. While various factors have an influence on the results, especially the choice of the sample period is of crucial importance. While in the very long run we find unemployment, inflation and the budget deficit to have a robust effect on presidential approval, this holds not true for shorter sub-periods. This result might indicate that the popularity function is instable over time. However, the findings might also be taken as an indication that the most often employed linear estimation approach is inadequate. Further research on these issues is necessary.
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.:
- Gebhard Kirchgässner, 1985. "Causality testing of the popularity function: An empirical investigation for the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971–1982," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 155-173, January.
- Benny Geys & Jan Vermeir, 2008.
"Taxation and presidential approval: separate effects from tax burden and tax structure turbulence?,"
Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 301-317, June.
- Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2007.
"Taxation and presidential approval: separate effects from tax burden and tax structure turbulence
[Besteuerung und Popularität von Politikern: Gibt es unterscheidbare Wirkungen aufgrund der Steuerl," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-09, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2007. "Taxation and presidential approval: separate effects from tax burden and tax structure turbulence
- Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. "The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-45, June.
- D. J. Smyth & S. W. Taylor, 2003. "Presidential popularity: what matters most, macroeconomics or scandals?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(9), pages 585-588.
- Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992.
"Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1997. "The grievance asymmetry revisited: A micro study of economic voting in Denmark,1986-1992," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 81-99, February.
- Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1990. "Economic Performance, Voting, and Political Support: A Unified Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 313-20, May.
- Schwert, G William, 2002.
"Tests for Unit Roots: A Monte Carlo Investigation,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 5-17, January.
- Tomasz Wisniewski & Geoffrey Lightfoot & Simon Lilley, 2012. "Speculating on presidential success: exploring the link between the price–earnings ratio and approval ratings," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 36(1), pages 106-122, January.
- Smyth, David J. & Taylor, Susan Washburn, 1992. "Inflation-unemployment trade-offs of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents: Empirical evidence on the partisan theory," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 47-57.
- Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001.
"LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power,"
Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
- Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 1997. "Lag Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 369, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2000.
- Clarke, Harold D. & Elliott, Euel, 1989. "New models of presidential approval : Carter, Reagan and their Predecessors," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 551-569.
- Susan W. Taylor & David J. Smyth & Pami Dua, 1999. "Estimating the public's social preference function between inflation and unemployment using survey data: The survey research center versus Gallup," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 361-372.
- David Smyth & Pami Dua & Susan Washburn Taylor, 1995. "Structural change in the relationship between presidential popularity and inflation and unemployment: the Nixon and Ford presidencies," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(9), pages 305-307.
- Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991.
"Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
- Kwiatkowski, D. & Phillips, P.C.B. & Schmidt, P., 1990. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of Unit Root : How Sure are we that Economic Time Series have a Unit Root?," Papers 8905, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
- Tom Doan, . "KPSS: RATS procedure to perform KPSS (Kwiatowski, Phillips, Schmidt, and Shin) stationarity test," Statistical Software Components RTS00100, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "An Empirical Study of Politico-Economic Interaction in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 174-83, May.
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
- Berlemann, Michael & Enkelmann, Soeren & Kuhlenkasper, Torben, 2012. "Unraveling the complexity of US presidential approval: A multi-dimensional semi-parametric approach," HWWI Research Papers 118, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
- E. Roy Weintraub & Evelyn L. Forget, 2007. "Introduction," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 39(5), pages 1-6, Supplemen.
- Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991.
"Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
- Tom Doan, . "RATS program to replicate Arellano-Bond 1991 dynamic panel," Statistical Software Components RTZ00169, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986.
"A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
- 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.
- Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2009. "The Lost Popularity Function: Are Unemployment and Inflation no longer Relevant for the Bahaviour of German Voters?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2882, CESifo Group Munich.
- Michael Lewis-Beck & Mary Stegmaier, 2013. "The VP-function revisited: a survey of the literature on vote and popularity functions after over 40 years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 367-385, December.
- Chappell, Henry W, Jr, 1983. "Presidential Popularity and Macroeconomic Performance: Are Voters Really So Naive?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 385-92, August.
- Winder, Robert C., 1992. "Presidential popularity and the economy : A note on demographic differences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 91-99, June.
- Smyth, David J & Dua, Pami & Taylor, Susan Washburn, 1994. "Voters and Macroeconomics: Are They Forward Looking or Backward Looking?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 78(3-4), pages 283-93, March.
- Geys, Benny, 2009. "Wars, presidents and popularity: The political cost(s) of war re-examined," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2009-11, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Harry W. Richardson & Peter Gordon & James E. Moore, 2007. "Introduction," Chapters, in: The Economic Costs and Consequences of Terrorism, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "Economic and Personality Determinants of Presidential Popularity," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 79-89.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:272. 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: (Joachim Wagner)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.