The American Political Economy: Macroeconomics and Electoral Politics / Edition 1

The American Political Economy: Macroeconomics and Electoral Politics / Edition 1

by Douglas A. Hibbs Jr.
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The American Political Economy: Macroeconomics and Electoral Politics / Edition 1

Here is the most comprehensive and authoritative work to date on relationships between the economy and politics in the years from Eisenhower through Reagan. Extending and deepening his earlier work, which had major impact in both political science and economics, Hibbs traces the patterns in and sources of postwar growth, unemployment, and inflation. He identifies which groups "win" and "lose" from inflations and recessions. He also shows how voters' perceptions and reactions to economic events affect the electoral fortunes of political parties and presidents.

Hibbs's analyses demonstrate that political officials in a democratic society ignore the economic interests and demands of their constituents at their peril, because episodes of prosperity and austerity frequently have critical influence on voters' behavior at the polls. The consequences of Eisenhower's last recession, of Ford's unwillingness to stimulate the economy, of Carter's stalled recovery were electorally fatal, whereas Johnson's, Nixon's, and Reagan's successes in presiding over rising employment and real incomes helped win elections.

The book develops a major theory of macroeconomic policy action that explains why priority is given to growth, unemployment, inflation, and income distribution shifts with changes in partisan control of the White House. The analysis shows how such policy priorities conform to the underlying economic interests and preferences of the governing party's core political supporters. Throughout the study Hibbs is careful to take account of domestic institutional arrangements and international economic events that constrain domestic policy effectiveness and influence domestic economic outcomes.

Hibbs's interdisciplinary approach yields more rigorous and more persuasive characterizations of the American political economy than either purely economic, apolitical analyses or purely partisan, politicized accounts. His book provides a useful benchmark for the advocacy of new policies for the 1990s--a handy volume for politicians and their staffs, as well as for students and teachers of politics and economics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674027367
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/15/1989
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 422
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.86(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Framework for the Analysis of Macroeconomics and Electoral Politics

Macroeconomic and Institutional Background

The Demand for Economic Outcomes

The Supply of Economic Outcomes


1. Postwar American Macroeconomic Performance in Historical Perspective

Growth and Unemployment


The Bias toward Inflation

Monetary Policy, the Financial System, and Economic


Fiscal Policy and Economic Stabilization

The Security-Inflation Trade-Off

2. The Costs of Unemployment

Defining, Interpreting, and Measuring Unemployment

The Aggregate Costs of Unemployment

The Incidence of Unemployment

The Costs of Unemployment to Individuals

3. The Costs of Inflation

Defining and Measuring Inflation

Recent Trends and Fluctuations in the Underlying Inflation Rate

Inflation and the Distribution of Personal Income

Inflation and Personal Income Growth Rates

Inflation and Corporate Profitability

Saving, Investment, and Inflation

Inflation's True Costs


4. Public Concern about Inflation and Unemployment

The Salience of the Economy as a Public Issue

The Distribution of Concern about Inflation and Unemployment in the General Electorate

The Distribution of Concern about Inflation and Unemployment among Income, Occupational, and Partisan Groups

5. Macroeconomic Performance and Mass Political Support for the President

The Political Support Model

Empirical Results

A Concluding Word on the Economy and Political Support for Presidents

6. Economic Performance and the 1980 and 1984 Elections

Landslide Elections in Recent History

Election Cycle Economics in 1980 and 1984

Rule-of-Thumb Statistical Models for Presidential Voting Outcomes

Evidence from the Surveys

Implications for the Future of Conservative Republicanism


7. Political Parties and Macroeconomic Policies and Outcomes

The Party Cleavage Model

Unemployment and Real Output under the Parties

Empirical Results for the Models

Distributional Outcomes under the Parties

Macroeconomic Policies

8. Political Business Cycles

The Theory of Election Cycles

Empirical Analysis of Election Cycles

Election Cycles and Partisan Cycles

Politics and the Economy

9. Macroeconomic and Distributional Outcomes during Reagan's First Four Years

Macroeconomic Goals, Policies, and Outcomes under Reagan

Distributional Politics and Partisan Cleavages in Congress

Distributional Consequences of the Reagan Fiscal Program

The Legacy of Reaganomics to the American Political Economy



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