Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy

Paperback | November 28, 1997

byAlberto Alesina, Nouriel Roubini, Gerald D. Cohen

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The relationship between political and economic cycles is one of the most widely studied topics in political economics. This book examines how electoral laws, the timing of elections, the ideological orientation of governments, and the nature of competition between political parties influence unemployment, economic growth, inflation, and monetary and fiscal policy. The book presents both a thorough overview of the theoretical literature and a vast amount of empirical evidence.A common belief is that voters reward incumbents who artificially create favorable conditions before an election, even though the economy may take a turn for the worse immediately thereafter. The authors argue that the dynamics of political cycles are far more complex. In their review of the main theoretical approaches to the issues, they demonstrate the multifaceted relationships between macroeconomic and political policies. They also present a broad range of empirical data, from the United States as well as OECD countries. One of their most striking findings is that the United States is not exceptional; the relationships between political and economic cycles are remarkably similar in other democracies, particularly those with two-party systems.

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From Our Editors

This book examines how electoral laws, the timing of election, the ideological orientation of governments, and the nature of competition between political parties influence unemployment, economic growth, inflation, and monetary and fiscal policy. The book presents both a thorough overview of the theoretical literature and a vast amount...

From the Publisher

The relationship between political and economic cycles is one of the most widely studied topics in political economics. This book examines how electoral laws, the timing of elections, the ideological orientation of governments, and the nature of competition between political parties influence unemployment, economic growth, inflation, a...

Alberto Alesina is Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economics at Harvard University. He is the coauthor (with Enrico Spolaore) of The Size of Nations (MIT Press, 2003).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:314 pages, 8.9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:November 28, 1997Publisher:The MIT Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262510944

ISBN - 13:9780262510943

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From Our Editors

This book examines how electoral laws, the timing of election, the ideological orientation of governments, and the nature of competition between political parties influence unemployment, economic growth, inflation, and monetary and fiscal policy. The book presents both a thorough overview of the theoretical literature and a vast amount of empirical evidence.

Editorial Reviews

This book is an important achievement in Political Economy, by two of the most creative researchers in the field. The ideas here, developed over many years by Alesina and Roubini, have already stimulated considerable new research and important empirical findings. This book deserves a wide readership.