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Do Canadian Business Cycle Peaks Predict Federal Election Calls?

Marcel Voia and J. Stephen Ferris ()

No 11-03, Carleton Economic Papers from Carleton University, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper examines the regularity that business cycle peaks and federal elections often arise together in parliamentary democracies as it applies to Canadian data over the post Confederation time period (1870 onwards). Breaking the simultaneity of these two events and properly identifying causality is possible we argue only if we address carefully the selection issue associated with observed events. Our results suggest that it is business cycle peaks that lead federal elections rather than the other way around. While such a finding reinforces the hypothesis of strategic election timing, the result is also insightful because it helps to explain why the predicted presence of a political business cycle is harder to find in parliamentary governments where the date of the next election is under the control of the governing political party than in democratic systems where governing durations and election dates are fixed.

Keywords: election timing; political business cycles; selection models; election hazard (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D78 C41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-mic and nep-pol
Date: 2011-04-25, Revised 2012-05-07
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Published: Do Business Cycle Peaks Predict Election Calls in Canada? European Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 29, No. 7 (March 2013), pp. 102–118

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