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Political Ideology and Economic Growth in a Democracy: The French Experience, 1871 - 2009



This paper examines the influence of political ideology on economic growth in the French democracy since 1871. It does so by addressing three main issues: the property and the reliability of a political ideology index in the long-run, the robustness of the relationship between ideology and growth and the specific channels through which political ideology affects economic performance. The main conclusion is that, compared with right-wing parties in power, left-wing governments have promoted equity at the expense of economic growth. It also appears that the main channel through which political ideology has impacted economic performance all along the French democratic experience is the budgetary tool (i.e. fiscal and redistributive policies) which influenced employment and income inequalities. By contrast, there seems to be less or even no empirical support for explanations based on the monetary policy or regulation, such as trade policies or the labor market regulation

Suggested Citation

  • François Facchini & Mickaël Melki, 2012. "Political Ideology and Economic Growth in a Democracy: The French Experience, 1871 - 2009," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12003, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:12003

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    More about this item


    French economic history; 19th century; 20th century; political ideology; partisanship; growth; government performance; fiscal policy; public spending; unemployment; inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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