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The Economic Determinants of U.S. Presidential Approval - A Survey

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  • Soeren Enkelmann

    () (Department of Economics, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)

  • Michael Berlemann

    () (Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg, Germany)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Soeren Enkelmann & Michael Berlemann, 2013. "The Economic Determinants of U.S. Presidential Approval - A Survey," Working Paper Series in Economics 272, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:272
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Berlemann & Sören Enkelmann & Torben Kuhlenkasper, 2015. "Unraveling the Relationship Between Presidential Approval and the Economy: A Multidimensional Semiparametric Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 468-486, April.
    2. 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).
    3. repec:clp:wpaper:wp34 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Albornoz, Facundo & Hauk, Esther, 2014. "Civil war and U.S. foreign influence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 64-78.
    5. Rodrigo Cerda & Natalia Gallardo & Rodrigo Vergara, 2017. "Political approval ratings and economic performance: evidence from Latin America," Estudios Públicos 23, Centro de Estudios Públicos.
    6. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2016. "Voting and Popularity," CESifo Working Paper Series 6182, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Soeren Enkelmann, 2013. "Government Popularity and the Economy First Evidence from German Micro Data," Working Paper Series in Economics 274, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    8. Sören Enkelmann, 2014. "Government popularity and the economy: first evidence from German microdata," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 999-1017, May.
    9. Balaguer-Coll, Maria Teresa & Brun-Martos, María Isabel & Forte, Anabel & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2015. "Local governments' re-election and its determinants: New evidence based on a Bayesian approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 94-108.
    10. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1156-7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    presidential popularity; approval; unemployment; inflation;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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