Voting and the macroeconomy: separating trend from cycle

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


Voters respond differently to trend growth as opposed to economic cycles in GDP.
When assessing incumbent competence the rational voter fi…lters out economic cycles when they are the product of external shocks but rewards strong trend growth over the previous term of office. Voters also respond to policy platforms, and parties closest to the median voter have an advantage à la Downs (1957). This advantage is theorized to be heightened in times of recession. Using data from elections in OECD countries and a much more exacting econometric speci…cation than used in previous analyses we find robust evidence of a positive vote response to strong performance in trend growth. We also fi…nd evidence to support the hypothesis that centralizing garners additional votes during recession.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork, UK
PublisherDepartment of Economics and Related Studies, University of York
Number of pages45
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2011

Publication series

NameUniversity of York Discussion Papers in Economics
PublisherUniversity of York


  • economic voting
  • competence
  • median voter
  • voter rationality

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