Is it all about competence? The human capital of U.S. presidents and economic performance
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Congleton, R.D. & Zhang, Y. Const Polit Econ (2013) 24: 108. doi:10.1007/s10602-013-9138-7
This paper explores the extent to which human capital improves the economic policy competence of US presidents. Several recent studies have used international data to test similar hypotheses. However, international studies suffer from a variety of comparability issues, not all of which can be avoided through fixed effects and error correction. The US results developed in this paper suggest that both career paths and education have significant effects on a president’s economic policy judgment, particularly in the period after the Civil War. However, the paper also suggests that more than good economic management skills are required to win national elections.