Richard M. Nixon: Politician, President, Administrator

By Leon Friedman; William F. Levantrosser | Go to book overview
Save to active project

13
President Nixon's Political Business Cycle

ANN MARI MAY AND ROBERT R. KELLER

It is unfortunate that the politics of economics has come to dictate action more than the economics of economics.

Richard M. Nixon1

The political business cycle is a manifestation of the politics of economics dictating action. The quest for reelection, it is argued, may lead politicians to manipulate the economy for political gain. A political business cycle occurs when political manipulation of the economy results in a pattern of "relative austerity in [the] early years" of an incumbent politician's term and a "potlatch right before the election." 2

The evidence on the existence of a persistent presidential political business cycle pattern is mixed. 3 Nevertheless, a number of studies conclude that a political business cycle occurred during President Nixon's first term. 4 In many studies, the existence of a political business cycle from 1969 to 1972 is inferred from a macroeconomic pattern of postelection recession and pre-election prosperity. The problem is that these studies do not "examine whether the government tries to manipulate the economy . . . but whether economic conditions actually do correspond to this pattern." 5 In addition, the recession-prosperity pattern by itself does not explain who manipulated the economy, why the economy was manipulated, or how the economy was manipulated for political gain. Thus, by stressing a recession-prosperity pattern of correlation, much of the literature relies on circumstantial evidence that is too indirect; simple correlation substitutes for investigating causal relationships and explaining the mechanisms that generate a political business cycle.

Our paper presents evidence that uncovers causal relationships and explanations for the postelection slump and the pre-election boom that occurred between 1969 and 1972. The analysis begins by examining monetary and fiscal policy

-221-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Richard M. Nixon: Politician, President, Administrator
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 424

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?