Presidential party, incumbency, and the effects of economic fluctuations on House Elections, 1916-1996

Kevin B. Grier, Joseph P. McGarrity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is little professional consensus regarding the effect of economic conditions on House Elections. We argue that recent work still uses the paradigm of Party to organize their data and tests. Given that recent developments in the theory of congress emphasize the paradigm of Incumbency, we investigate the empirical relevance of that competing paradigm. We show that (1) Incumbency matters in a pure Presidential Party Model of House Elections, (2) Presidential Party matters in a pure Incumbency Model, (3) Once both Party and Incumbency are accounted for, economic conditions exert a highly significant and temporally stable influence on House elections, (4) Return Rates are more affected by economic fluctuations than are Vote Shares, and (5) Not all Presidential Party incumbents face the same degree of electoral accountability for economic fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-162
Number of pages20
JournalPublic Choice
Volume110
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

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