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Public Choice

, Volume 166, Issue 1–2, pp 235–259 | Cite as

Political business cycles 40 years after Nordhaus

  • Eric DuboisEmail author
Literature Survey

Abstract

The aim of this article is to survey the huge literature that has emerged in the last four decades following Nordhaus’s (Rev Econ Stud 42(2):169–190, 1975) publication on political business cycles (PBCs). I first propose some developments in history of thought to examine the context in which this ground-breaking contribution saw the light of the day. I also present a simplified version of Nordhaus’s model to highlight his key results. I detail some early critiques of this model and the fields of investigations to which they gave birth. I then focus on the institutional context and examine its influence on PBCs, the actual research agenda. Finally, I derive some paths for future research.

Keywords

Political business cycles Politico-economic cycles Electoral cycles Opportunistic cycles Conditional political business cycles 

JEL Classification

B22 D72 D78 E32 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I thank William F. Shughart II and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CESUniversité de Paris 1Paris Cedex 13France

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