Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984
NBER Working Paper No. 1940
This paper tests the existence and the extent of a politically induced business cycle in the U.S. in the post-World War II period. The cycle described in this paper is different from the traditional "political business cycle" of Nordhaus. It is based on a systematic difference between the monetary policies of the two parties in a model with labor contracts. From an explicit optimization problem we derive a system of equations for output and money growth. Then we successfully test the non-linear restriction imposed by the theory on the parameters of the system of equations. We cannot reject the hypothesis that money growth has been systematically different under the two types of administration and that this difference contributes to explain output fluctuations.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1940
Published: Alesina, Alberto and Jeffrey Sachs, "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984." Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Vol. 20, No. 1, February 1988, pp. 63-82. citation courtesy of