Politcal Parties and Macroeconomics: Evidence from the U.S. 1880-1948
Tests of political theories of macroeconomic policy have concentrated on the post-WW2 sample period. These theories are here tested for historical robustness using evidence from the U.S.A. from the period 1880-1948. Although no evidence is found to support the political business cycle hypothesis, there is clear evidence of differences in monetary policy between Democrat and Republican administrations. In the period of the "classical" Gold Standard (pre WW1), policy is found to be tighter under Democrats, whereas the reverse is found for the later period. There is also weaker evidence for partisan differences in output growth during the early period, but much stronger evidence for the later period. Support for the rational expectations refinement of the partisan theory is not found.
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