Economics at your fingertips  

The Democratic-Republican Presidential Growth Gap and the Partisan Balance of the State Governments

Dodge Cahan and Niklas Potrafke ()

No 6517, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich

Abstract: Higher economic growth was generated during Democratic presidencies compared to Republican presidencies in the United States. The question is why. Blinder and Watson (2016) explain that the Democratic-Republican presidential growth gap (D-R growth gap) can hardly be attributed to the policies under Democratic presidents, but Democratic presidents – at least partly – just had good luck, although a substantial gap remains unexplained. A natural place to look for an explanation is the partisan balance at the state level. We show that pronounced national GDP growth was generated when a larger share of US states had Democratic governors and unified Democratic state governments. However, this fact does not explain the D-R growth gap. To the contrary, given the tendency of electoral support at the state level to swing away from the party of the incumbent president, this works against the D-R growth gap. In fact, the D-R presidential growth gap at the national level might have been even larger were it not for the mitigating dynamics of state politics (by about 0.3-0.6 percentage points). These results suggest that the D-R growth gap is an even bigger puzzle than Blinder and Watson’s findings would suggest.

Keywords: Democratic-Republican GDP growth gap; federalism; partisan politics; government ideology; United States; Democrats; Republicans (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 E60 H00 N12 N42 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-mac and nep-pol
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Klaus Wohlrabe ().

Page updated 2019-10-16
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6517