NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Presidents and the U.S. Economy: An Econometric Exploration

Alan S. Blinder, Mark W. Watson

NBER Working Paper No. 20324
Issued in July 2014
NBER Program(s):   EFG

The U.S. economy has grown faster--and scored higher on many other macroeconomic metrics--when the President of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican. For many measures, including real GDP growth (on which we concentrate), the performance gap is both large and statistically significant, despite the fact that postwar history includes only 16 complete presidential terms. This paper asks why. The answer is not found in technical time series matters (such as differential trends or mean reversion), nor in systematically more expansionary monetary or fiscal policy under Democrats. Rather, it appears that the Democratic edge stems mainly from more benign oil shocks, superior TFP performance, a more favorable international environment, and perhaps more optimistic consumer expectations about the near-term future. Many other potential explanations are examined but fail to explain the partisan growth gap.

download in pdf format
   (685 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20324

Published: Alan S. Blinder & Mark W. Watson, 2016. "Presidents and the US Economy: An Econometric Exploration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 1015-45, April. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
GalĂ­ and Gambetti w19981 The Effects of Monetary Policy on Stock Market Bubbles: Some Evidence
Murfin and Petersen w20310 Loans on sale: Credit market seasonality, borrower need, and lender rents
Milbradt and Oehmke w19946 Maturity Rationing and Collective Short-Termism
Buch and Goldberg w20286 International Banking and Liquidity Risk Transmission: Lessons from Across Countries
Davis and Van Nieuwerburgh w20287 Housing, Finance and the Macroeconomy
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us