Surprise party

Grafstein, Robert; Caruson, Kiki
October 2008
Public Choice;Oct2008, Vol. 137 Issue 1/2, p315
Academic Journal
Alesina’s (Quarterly Journal of Economics 102, 651–678, ) influential model of presidential elections with ideologically motivated parties attributes higher growth and lower unemployment under Democratic presidents to the surprise inflation a Democratic victory entails. In contrast to the published literature, we test this hypothesis using calculations of presidential election surprises consistent with the assumption of rational economic actors. We confront the econometric complications attending a time-series approach taking into account economic growth dynamics. We ultimately fail to confirm the hypothesis that the level of uncertainty associated with presidential election results has an effect on economic outcomes.


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