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The Economy, the War in Iraq and the 2004 Presidential Election


  • Hibbs, Douglas A.


In this paper I apply the Bread and Peace model of voting in US presidential elections to analyze the sources of George W. Bush’s narrow re-election victory in 2004. The aggregate election outcome is readily explained by the model’s objectively measured political-economic fundamentals – no appeal need be made to arbitrary count, trend, dummy and switching variables. The results imply that the 2004 election turned mainly on weighted-average growth of per capita real disposable personal income over the term. The war in Iraq, which has escalated dramatically in political relevance since the 2004 contest, had a relatively small impact on the election result, most likely depressing Bush’s two-party vote share by less than a half percentage point.

Suggested Citation

  • Hibbs, Douglas A., 2007. "The Economy, the War in Iraq and the 2004 Presidential Election," MPRA Paper 15910, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15910

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for President," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 159-173, May.
    2. Ray C. Fair, 1996. "Econometrics and Presidential Elections," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 89-102, Summer.
    3. Douglas Hibbs, 2000. "Bread and Peace Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 149-180, July.
    4. Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2004. "Voting and the Macroeconomy," Working Papers in Economics 144, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 08 Apr 2006.
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    More about this item


    2004 US presidential election; voting and economy; Iraq and 2004 US election; bread and peace voting;

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism


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