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

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)
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-mac and nep-pol
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (11)

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: The Democrat-Republican presidential growth gap and the partisan balance of the state governments (2021) Downloads
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 Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Klaus Wohlrabe ().

Page updated 2024-04-30
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6517