Public Choice

, Volume 104, Issue 1–2, pp 149–180 | Cite as

Bread and Peace Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections

  • Douglas A. HibbsJr.

Abstract

A simple ``Bread and Peace'' model shows that aggregate votes forPresident in postwar elections were determined entirely byweighted-average growth of real disposable personal income percapita during the incumbent party's term and the cumulativenumbers of American military personnel killed in action as aresult of U.S. intervention in the Korean and Vietnamese civilwars. The model is subjected to robustness tests against twenty-two variations in functional form inspired by the extensiveliterature on presidential voting. Not one of these variationsadds value to the Bread and Peace model or significantly perturbsits coefficients.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abramowitz, A.L. (1988). An improved model for predicting presidential election outcomes. PS: Political Science and Politics 21: 843–847.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alesina, A., Londregan, J. and Rosenthal, H. (1996). The 1992, 1994 and 1996 elections: A comment and a forecast. Public Choice 88: 115–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alesina, A., Londregan, J. and Rosenthal, H. (1993). A model of the political economy of the United States. American Political Science Review 87: 12–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alesina, A. and Rosenthal, H. (1995). Partisan politics, divided government, and the economy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bartels, L. (1997). Correspondence: Economics and elections. Journal of Economic Perspectives 11: 195–197.Google Scholar
  6. Berry, B., Elliot, E. and Harpham, E.J. (1996). The yield curve as an electoral bellwether. Technical Forecasting and Social Change 51: 281–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bloom, H. and Price, H. (1985). Voter response to short-run economic conditions. American Political Science Review 69: 124–154.Google Scholar
  8. Campbell, A., Converse, P., Miller, W. and Stokes, D. (1960). The American voter. NewYork: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Cameron, D. (1978). The expansion of the public economy. American Political Science Review 72: 1243–1261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clarke, H.D. and Stewart, M.C. (1994). Prospections, retrospections and rationality: The "bankers" model of presidential approval reconsidered. American Journal of Political Science 38: 1104–1123.Google Scholar
  11. Cotton, T.Y.C. (1986). Electoral costs of the last five wars. Journal of Conflict Resolution 30: 616–635.Google Scholar
  12. Danziger, S. and Gottschalk, P. (Eds.). (1993). Uneven tides: Rising inequality in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  13. Downs, A. (1957). An economic theory of democracy. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  14. Erikson, R.S. (1989). Economic conditions and the presidential vote. American Political Science Review 83: 567–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Erikson, R.S. and Wlezien, C. (1996). Of time and presidential election forecasts. PS: Political Science and Politics 31: 37–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Estrella, A. and Hardouvelis, G.A. (1991). The term structure as a predictor of real activity. Journal of Finance 46: 555–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Estrella, A. and Mishkin, F.S. (1998). Predicting U.S. recessions: Financial variables and leading indicators. Review of Economics and Statistics 80: 45–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fair, R.C. (1978). The effect of economic events on votes for President. Review of Economics and Statistics 60: 159–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fair, R.C. (1996). Econometrics and presidential elections. Journal of Economic Perspectives 10: 89–102.Google Scholar
  20. Fair, R.C. (1997). Response [to Bartels]. Journal of Economic Perspectives 11: 197–198.Google Scholar
  21. Fama, E.F. (1990). Stock returns, expected returns, and real activity. Journal of Finance 45: 1089–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ferejohn, J. (1986). Incumbent performance and electoral control. Public Choice 50: 5–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fiorina, M. (1981). Retrospective voting in American national elections. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Fox, G.T. (1997). Median voter's macroeconomic preference and inflation bias. Journal of Macroeconomics 19: 395–409.Google Scholar
  25. Gleisner, R.F. (1992). Economic determinants of presidential elections: The Fair model. Political Behavior 14: 383–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Haynes, S.E. and Stone, J. (1994). Why did economic models falsely predict a Bush landslide in 1992? Contemporary Economic Policy 12: 123–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hibbs, D.A. (1977). Political parties and macroeconomic policy. American Political Science Review 71: 1467–1487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hibbs, D.A. (1982). President Reagan's mandate from the 1980 elections: A shift to the right? American Politics Quarterly 10: 387–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hibbs, D.A. (1987). The American political economy: Macroeconomics and electoral politics in the United States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Hibbs, D.A. (1993). Solidarity or egoism?: The economics of sociotropic and egocentric influences on political behavior. Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Hibbs, D.A. and Dennis, C. (1988). Income distribution in the United States. American Political Science Review 82: 467–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kahneman, D. and Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica 47: 263–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Keech, W.R. (1995). Economic politics: The costs of democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Key, V.O. (1966). The responsible electorate: Rationality in presidential voting 1936-1960. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Kiewiet, D.R. (1981). Policy-oriented voting in response to economic issues. American Political Science Review 75: 448–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kiewiet, D.R. (1983). Macroeconomics and micropolitics: The electoral effects of economic issues. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  37. Kramer, G.H. (1971). Short-term fluctuations in U.S. voting behavior, 1896-1964. American Political Science Review 65: 131–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kramer, G.H. (1983). The ecological fallacy revisited: Aggregate-versus individual-level findings on economics and elections, and sociotropic voting. American Political Science Review 77: 92–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lewis-Beck, M. and Rice, T. (1992). Forecasting presidential elections. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.Google Scholar
  40. Lewis-Beck, M. and Tien, C. (1996). The future in forecasting: Prospective presidential models. American Politics Quarterly 24: 468–491.Google Scholar
  41. MacKuen, M.B., Erikson, R.S. and Stimson, J.A. (1992). Peasants or bankers?: The American electorate and the U.S. economy. American Political Science Review 86: 597–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mankiw, N.G. and Shapiro, M. (1985). Trends, random walks, and tests of the permanent income hypothesis. Journal of Monetary Economics 16: 165–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Meltzer, A.H. and Vellrath, M. (1975). The effect of economic policies on votes for the presidency: Some evidence from recent elections. Journal of Law and Economics 18: 781–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mueller, J.E. (1973). War, presidents and public opinion. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  45. Nordhaus, W. (1975). The political business cycle. Review of Economic Studies 42: 169–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ostrom, C.W. and Simon, D.M. (1985). Promise and performance: A dynamic model of presidential popularity. American Political Science Review 79: 334–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Page, B.I. and Brody, R.A. (1972). Policy voting and the electoral process: The Vietnam war issue. American Political Science Review 66: 979–995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pelzman, S. (1990). How efficient is the voting market? Journal of Law and Economics 33: 27–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Pelzman, S. (1992). Voters as fiscal conservatives. Quarterly Journal of Economics 107: 327–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Powell, G.B. and Whitten, G.D. (1993). A cross-national analysis of economic voting: Taking account of political context. American Journal of Political Science 37: 391–414.Google Scholar
  51. Quattrone, G. and Tversky, A. (1988). Contrasting rational and psychological analyses of political choice. American Political Science Review 86: 444–456.Google Scholar
  52. Quinn, D.P. and Woolley, J. (1998). Democracy and national economic performance. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  53. Rodrik, D. (1999). Why do open economies have bigger governments? Journal of Political Economy 106: 997–1032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rosenstone, J. (1983). Forecasting presidential elections. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Schwert, G.W. (1990). Stock returns and real economic activity: A century of evidence. Journal of Finance 45: 1237–1257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stigler, G. (1973). General economic conditions and national elections. American Economic Review 63: 160–167.Google Scholar
  57. Stoker, T.M. (1986). Simple tests of distributional effects on macroeconomic equations. Journal of Political Economy 94: 763–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Stoker, T.M. (1993). Empirical approaches to the problem of aggregation over individuals. Journal of Economic Literature 31: 1827–1874.Google Scholar
  59. Weinberg, D.H. (1996). A brief look at postwar US income inequality. Current Population Reports, June: P60-191.Google Scholar
  60. Wolfinger, R. and Rosenstone, S. (1980). Who votes? New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Zaller, J. (1998). Monica Lewinsky's contribution to political science. PS: Political Science and Politics 31: 182–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas A. HibbsJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGöteborg UniversityGöteborgSweden

Personalised recommendations