NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles

Kenneth Rogoff, Anne Sibert

NBER Working Paper No. 1838 (Also Reprint No. r1070)
Issued in February 1986
NBER Program(s):   EFG

There is an extensive empirical literature on political business cycles, but its theoretical foundations are grounded in pre-rational expectations macroeconomic theory. Here we show that electoral cycles in taxes, government spending and money growth can be modeled as an equilibrium signaling process. The cycleis driven by temporary information asymmetries which can arise if, for example,the government has more current information on its performance in providing for national defense. Incumbents cheat least when their private informationis either extremely favorable or extremely unfavorable. An exogenous increase in the incumbent partyts popularity does not necessarily imply a damped policy cycle.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1838

Published: Rogoff, Kenneth and Anne Sibert. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles." From Review of Economic Studies, Vol. LV (55), No. 181, pp. 1-16, January 1988. citation courtesy of

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