Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Partisan Cycles in Congressional Elections and the Macroeconomy

Alberto Alesina and Howard Rosenthal
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 83, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 373-398
DOI: 10.2307/1962396
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1962396
Page Count: 26
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Partisan Cycles in Congressional Elections and the Macroeconomy
Preview not available

Abstract

In the postwar United States the president's party has always done worse in the midterm congressional elections than in the previous congressional election. Republican administrations exhibit below-average, and Democratic administrations above-average, economic growth in the first half of each term, whereas in the latter halves the two see equal growth. Our rational expectations model is consistent with these two regularities. In presidential elections, voters choose between two polarized candidates. They then use midterm elections to counterbalance the president's policies by strengthening the opposition in Congress. Since presidents of different parties are associated with different policies, our model predicts a (spurious) correlation between the state of the economy and elections. Our predictions contrast with those of retrospective voting models, in which voters reward the incumbent if the economy is doing well before the election. Our model performs empirically at least as well as, and often better than, alternative models.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[373]
    [373]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
374
    374
  • Thumbnail: Page 
375
    375
  • Thumbnail: Page 
376
    376
  • Thumbnail: Page 
377
    377
  • Thumbnail: Page 
378
    378
  • Thumbnail: Page 
379
    379
  • Thumbnail: Page 
380
    380
  • Thumbnail: Page 
381
    381
  • Thumbnail: Page 
382
    382
  • Thumbnail: Page 
383
    383
  • Thumbnail: Page 
384
    384
  • Thumbnail: Page 
385
    385
  • Thumbnail: Page 
386
    386
  • Thumbnail: Page 
387
    387
  • Thumbnail: Page 
388
    388
  • Thumbnail: Page 
389
    389
  • Thumbnail: Page 
390
    390
  • Thumbnail: Page 
391
    391
  • Thumbnail: Page 
392
    392
  • Thumbnail: Page 
393
    393
  • Thumbnail: Page 
394
    394
  • Thumbnail: Page 
395
    395
  • Thumbnail: Page 
396
    396
  • Thumbnail: Page 
397
    397
  • Thumbnail: Page 
398
    398