Politics and macroeconomic performance in the OECD countries
This paper provides an overview of the major macroeconomic problems that have confronted the OECD countries during the last four decades. It also explores some leading arguments regarding the political bases of these problems. An extensive account of the experiences of these countries in terms of five major macroeconomic problem areas, growth, employment, price stability, external balances, and equality, is provided. The relative performance of these countries is given particular emphasis. An attempt is made to place their economic progress and difficulties into a broader historical perspective and to provide some background with respect to related developments. This is followed by a discussion of three of the leading arguments regarding the political basis of economic performance (social consensus, class-based partisan politics, and government failure). An evaluation of the empirical validity of these arguments is provided. None of the three arguments (and their variants) garnered evidence that was uniformly supportive. Aside from somemodest support for the coherence version of the class-based partisan politics model, the effects of political factors on growth appear to be nil. The existence of tradeoffs between left and right preferences in terms of other macroeconomic outcomes, specifically with respect to unemployment and inflation, seem not to manifest themselves in the presence of social consensus. Both the desired outcome of full employment and price stability can be achieved under conditions of social consensus. Interestingly, such consensus will do nothing to advance the goal of income equalization. Partisan politics does seem to matter in most of the economic problem areas examined. There is some evidence that a strong left and labor will bring about lower unemployment and greater equality at the cost of higher inflation and a poorer performance on the external account.
|Date of creation:||1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin, Germany|
Phone: ++49 - 30 - 25491 - 0
Fax: ++49 - 30 - 25491 - 684
Web page: http://www.wzb.eu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alex Cukierman, 1992.
"Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence,"
MIT Press Books,
The MIT Press,
edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981, December.
- Cukierman Alex, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, And Independance: Theory And Evidence," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 3(4), pages 10, December.
- McCallum, John, 1986. "Unemployment in OECD Countries in the 1980s," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 942-60, December.
- McCallum, John, 1983. "Inflation and Social Consensus in the Seventies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 784-805, December.
- Lawrence H. Summers & Jonathan Gruber & Rodrigo Vergara, 1992.
"Taxation and the Structure of Labor Markets: The Case of Corporatism,"
NBER Working Papers
4063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lawrence Summers & Jonathan Gruber & Rodrigo Vergara, 1993. "Taxation and the Structure of Labor Markets: The Case of Corporatism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 385-411.
- David Romer, 1993.
"Openness and Inflation: Theory and Evidence,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 869-903.
- Pryor, Frederic L., 1988. "Corporatism as an economic system: A review essay," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 317-344, September.
- Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
- Dowrick, Steve, 1989. "Sectoral change, catching up and slowing down : OECD post-war economic growth revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 331-335, December.
- Francis G. Castles & Steve Dowrick, 1990. "The Impact of Government Spending Levels on Medium-Term Economic Growth in the Oecd, 1960-85," Journal of Theoretical Politics, SAGE Publishing, vol. 2(2), pages 173-204, April.
- Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
- Levitt, M S, 1976. "The Redistributive Effects of Taxation in the Report of the Royal Commission on the Distribution of Income and Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(343), pages 579-88, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbece:fsi95315. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.