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The Democrat-Republican growth gap paradox

Author

Listed:
  • Manuel Hidalgo-Pérez

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • José Luis Ferreira

    (Universidad Carlos III)

  • Carmen Rubio-Castaño

    (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

Economic performance has been historically better under Democrat presidents compared to Republican ones. This gap has not yet been fully explained appealing to better management or luck. In fact, the economic cycles under one group of administrations or the other are quite similar. Blinder and Watson (2016) provide the best attempt so far at solving the paradox, but can explain only half of the gap. Drawing from them, and using a different method to account for the initial conditions of each presidential term, we are able to show that the phase of the economic cycle at the different elections are correlated to the party of the president. We also find ample evidence suggesting that there is a subtle causality: when the unemployment is high, the probability of a person voting for a Democrat president increases, thus causing Democrats being elected more often at the end of a recession and the beginning of a recovery. This, and not the difference in competence dealing with the economic cycles, is enough to close the gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Hidalgo-Pérez & José Luis Ferreira & Carmen Rubio-Castaño, 2018. "The Democrat-Republican growth gap paradox," Working Papers 18.10, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:18.10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycle; econometric time series; elections; economic growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models

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