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Unraveling the complexity of US presidential approval: A multi-dimensional semi-parametric approach

  • Berlemann, Michael
  • Enkelmann, Soeren
  • Kuhlenkasper, Torben

In this paper we show that findings of an apparently instable popularity function of U.S. presidents, as reported in the previous literature, are likely the consequence of the common use of linear estimation techniques. Employing Penalized Spline Smoothing in the context of Additive Mixed Models we allow for a-priori unspecified non-linear effects of possible economic determinants of presidential popularity. We find strong evidence for non-linear and negative effects of unemployment, inflation and government consumption on presidential approval and present empirical evidence in favor of the hypothesis of the existence of interaction effects between the economic variables. Additionally we give supporting evidence for the existence of honeymoon and nostalgia effects as well as general decline of support over time.

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Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) in its series HWWI Research Papers with number 118.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:118
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  1. Wong, Chi-ming & Kohn, Robert, 1996. "A Bayesian approach to additive semiparametric regression," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 209-235, October.
  2. Michael Berlemann & Sören Enkelmann, 2012. "The Economic Determinants of U.S. Presidential Approval -A Survey-," CESifo Working Paper Series 3761, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521785167 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521780506 is not listed on IDEAS
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