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Unraveling the Relationship between Presidential Approval and the Economy - A Multi-Dimensional Semi-Parametric Approach

  • Enkelmann, Sören
  • Berlemann, Michael
  • Kuhlenkasper, Torben

Empirical studies analyzing the determinants of U.S. presidential popularity have delivered quite inconclusive results concerning the role of economic variables by assuming linear relationships. We employ penalized spline smoothing in the context of semi-parametric additive mixed models and allow for flexible functional forms and thus possible non-linear effects for the economic determinants. By controlling for the well-known politically motivated covariables, we find strong evidence for non-linear and negative effects of unemployment, inflation, and government consumption on presidential approval. Additionally, we present new results in favor of non-parametric trivariate interaction effects between the macroeconomic covariables.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79836.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79836
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  1. Faust, Jon & Irons, John S., 1999. "Money, politics and the post-war business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 61-89, February.
  2. Meltzer, Allan H., 2011. "Politics and the Fed," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 39-48, January.
  3. Smyth, David J & Dua, Pami & Taylor, Susan Washburn, 1994. " Voters and Macroeconomics: Are They Forward Looking or Backward Looking?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 78(3-4), pages 283-93, March.
  4. Michael Berlemann & Sören Enkelmann, 2012. "The Economic Determinants of U.S. Presidential Approval -A Survey-," CESifo Working Paper Series 3761, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2008. "How Do Budget Deficits and Economic Growth Affect Reelection Prospects? Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2203-20, December.
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  7. Lena Dräger & Jan-Oliver Menz & Ulrich Fritsche, . "Perceived Inflation under Loss Aversion," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201105, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
  8. Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "An Empirical Study of Politico-Economic Interaction in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 174-83, May.
  9. Wong, Chi-ming & Kohn, Robert, 1996. "A Bayesian approach to additive semiparametric regression," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 209-235, October.
  10. Frey, Bruno S. & Schneider, Friedrich, 1981. "Central bank behavior : A positive empirical analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 291-315.
  11. S. N. Wood, 2000. "Modelling and smoothing parameter estimation with multiple quadratic penalties," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 62(2), pages 413-428.
  12. K. Peren Arin & Michael Berlemann & Faik Koray & Torben Kuhlenkasper, 2013. "Nonlinear Growth Effects Of Taxation: A Semi‐Parametric Approach Using Average Marginal Tax Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(5), pages 883-899, 08.
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