The effect of macroeconomic fluctuations on the electoral fortunes of house incumbents

Kevin B. Grier, Joseph P. Mc Garrity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of macroeconomic fluctuations on House elections is a long debated, but still unresolved, issue. We argue that return rates are theoretically superior to vote shares as measures of electoral acountability and that incumbents, not candidates of the president's party, are the legislators voters hold responsible. We develop and test an incumbent accountability model using incumbent return rates in the U.S. House from 1916 to 1994, finding a strongly significant effect of both income growth and the misery index. However, the data reject both our pure incumbency model and the traditional presidential party model, indicating that both factors are relevant to voters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-161
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Law and Economics
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1998

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of macroeconomic fluctuations on the electoral fortunes of house incumbents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this