Abstract

The US economy has performed better when the president of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican, almost regardless of how one measures performance. For many measures, including real GDP growth (our focus), the performance gap is large and significant. This paper asks why. The answer is not found in technical time series matters 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 total factor productivity (TFP) performance, a more favorable international environment, and perhaps more optimistic consumer expectations about the near-term future. (JEL D72, E23, E32, E65, N12, N42).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1045
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume106
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

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