Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984
This paper tests the existence and the extent of a politically induced business cycle in the U.S. in the post-World War II period. The cycle described in this paper is different from the traditional "political business cycle" of Nordhaus. It is based on a systematic difference between the monetary policies of the two parties in a model with labor contracts. From an explicit optimization problem we derive a system of equations for output and money growth. Then we successfully test the non-linear restriction imposed by the theory on the parameters of the system of equations. We cannot reject the hypothesis that money growth has been systematically different under the two types of administration and that this difference contributes to explain output fluctuations.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1986|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Alesina, Alberto and Jeffrey Sachs, "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984." Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Vol. 20, No. 1, February 1988, pp. 63-82.|
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- Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
- Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-Party System as a Repeated Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 651-78, August.
- 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.
- Abrams, Richard K & Froyen, Richard & Waud, Roger N, 1980. "Monetary Policy Reaction Functions, Consistent Expectations, and the Burns Era," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(1), pages 30-42, February.
- Barro, Robert J, 1978.
"Unanticipated Money, Output, and the Price Level in the United States,"
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University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 549-80, August.
- Barro, Robert J., 1978. "Unanticipated Money, Output, and the Price Level in the United States," Scholarly Articles 3450988, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Taylor, John B, 1980.
"Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
- Stigler, George J, 1973. "General Economic Conditions and National Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 160-67, May.
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