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The information content of elections and varieties of the partisan political business cycle


This event study uses economic forecasts and opinion polls to measure the response of expectations to election surprise. Use of forecast data complements older work on partisan cycles by allowing a tighter link between election and response thereby mitigating concerns of endogeneity and omitted variables. I find that forecasters respond swiftly and significantly to election surprise. I further argue that the response ought to vary across countries with different institutional foundations. In support, I find that there exist three distinct patterns in forecasters’ responses to partisan surprise corresponding to Hall and Soskice’s three varieties of capitalism.

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Correspondence to Cameron A. Shelton.

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Shelton, C.A. The information content of elections and varieties of the partisan political business cycle. Public Choice 150, 209–240 (2012).

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  • Political business cycle
  • Varieties of capitalism
  • Forecast data
  • Opinion polls

JEL Classification

  • E32
  • E63
  • P16
  • P51