Catalogue

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The American political economy : macroeconomics and electoral politics /
Douglas A. Hibbs, Jr.
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1987.
description
xiii, 404 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0674027353 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1987.
isbn
0674027353 (alk. paper)
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
1609051
 
Bibliography: p. [329]-395.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-01:
Hibbs (recently of MIT and Harvard) presents an analysis of American political economy from WW II through the first Reagan term. The work is animated by the author's Democratic partisanship and his strong command of complex analytical tools. Economic analysis is often placed in the service of political argument, but Hibbs does so with unusual sophistication. The results are familiar but their derivation is impressive. He argues that the burden of unemployment tends to fall on core Democratic voters while inflation is most unwelcome to the Republican core. All voters have a strong preference for low inflation (lower-income voters are least inflation averse), while core Democrats are the most supportive of low unemployment. Hibbs finds only mixed support for Edward R. Tufte's theory of a political business cycle (Political Control of the Economy, CH, Dec '78). However, in the final chapter he indicates that the Reagan administration orchestrated a political business cycle for their electoral benefit while simultaneously pursuing policies that enriched the prosperous Republican core. Suitable for upper-division and graduate audiences.-R.T. Averitt, Smith College
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This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1988
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Summaries
Main Description
Here is the most comprehensive and authoritative work to date on relationships between the economy and politics in the years from Eisenhower through Reagan. Extending and deepening his earlier work, which had major impact in both political science and economics, Hibbs traces the patterns in and sources of postwar growth, unemployment, and inflation. He identifies which groups "win" and "lose" from inflations and recessions. He also shows how voters' perceptions and reactions to economic events affect the electoral fortunes of political parties and presidents. Hibbs's analyses demonstrate that political officials in a democratic society ignore the economic interests and demands of their constituents at their peril, because episodes of prosperity and austerity frequently have critical influence on voters' behavior at the polls. The consequences of Eisenhower's last recession, of Ford's unwillingness to stimulate the economy, of Carter's stalled recovery were electorally fatal, whereas Johnson's, Nixon's, and Reagan's successes in presiding over rising employment and real incomes helped win elections. The book develops a major theory of macroeconomic policy action that explains why priority is given to growth, unemployment, inflation, and income distribution shifts with changes in partisan control of the White House. The analysis shows how such policy priorities conform to the underlying economic interests and preferences of the governing party's core political supporters. Throughout the study Hibbs is careful to take account of domestic institutional arrangements and international economic events that constrain domestic policy effectiveness and influence domestic economic outcomes. Hibbs's interdisciplinary approach yields more rigorous and more persuasive characterizations of the American political economy than either purely economic, apolitical analyses or purely partisan, politicized accounts. His book provides a useful benchmark for the advocacy of new policies for the 1990s--a handy volume for politicians and their staffs, as well as for students and teachers of politics and economics.
Main Description
Here is the most comprehensive and authoritative work to date on relationships between the economy and politics in the years from Eisenhower through Reagan. Extending and deepening his earlier work, which had major impact in both political science and economics, Hibbs traces the patterns in and sources of postwar growth, unemployment, and inflation. He identifies which groups "win" and "lose" from inflations and recessions. He also shows how voters' perceptions and reactions to economic events affect the electoral fortunes of political parties and presidents.Hibbs's analyses demonstrate that political officials in a democratic society ignore the economic interests and demands of their constituents at their peril, because episodes of prosperity and austerity frequently have critical influence on voters' behavior at the polls. The consequences of Eisenhower's last recession, of Ford's unwillingness to stimulate the economy, of Carter's stalled recovery were electorally fatal, whereas Johnson's, Nixon's, and Reagan's successes in presiding over rising employment and real incomes helped win elections.The book develops a major theory of macroeconomic policy action that explains why priority is given to growth, unemployment, inflation, and income distribution shifts with changes in partisan control of the White House. The analysis shows how such policy priorities conform to the underlying economic interests and preferences of the governing party's core political supporters. Throughout the study Hibbs is careful to take account of domestic institutional arrangements and international economic events that constrain domestic policy effectiveness and influence domestic economic outcomes.Hibbs's interdisciplinary approach yields more rigorous and more persuasive characterizations of the American political economy than either purely economic, apolitical analyses or purely partisan, politicized accounts. His book provides a useful benchmark for the advocacy of new policies for the 1990s--a handy volume for politicians and their staffs, as well as for students and teachers of politics and economics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Framework for the Analysis of Macroeconomics and Electoral Politics
Macroeconomic and Institutional Background
The Demand for Economic Outcomes
The Supply of Economic Outcomes
Macroeconomic and Institutional Background
Postwar American Macroeconomic Performance in Historical Perspective
Growth and Unemployment
Inflation
The Bias toward Inflation
Monetary Policy, the Financial System, and Economic
Stabilization
Fiscal Policy and Economic Stabilization
The Security-Inflation Trade-Off
The Costs of Unemployment
Defining, Interpreting, and Measuring Unemployment
The Aggregate Costs of Unemployment
The Incidence of Unemployment
The Costs of Unemployment to Individuals
The Costs of Inflation
Defining and Measuring Inflation
Recent Trends and Fluctuations in the Underlying Inflation Rate
Inflation and the Distribution of Personal Income
Inflation and Personal Income Growth Rates
Inflation and Corporate Profitability
Saving, Investment, and Inflation
Inflation's True Costs
The Demand for Economic Outcomes
Public Concern about Inflation and Unemployment
The Salience of the Economy as a Public Issue
The Distribution of Concern about Inflation and Unemployment in the General Electorate
The Distribution of Concern about Inflation and Unemployment among Income, Occupational, and Partisan Groups
Macroeconomic Performance and Mass Political Support for the President
The Political Support Model
Empirical Results
A Concluding Word on the Economy and Political Support for Presidents
Economic Performance and the 1980 and 1984 Elections
Landslide Elections in Recent History
Election Cycle Economics in 1980 and 1984
Rule-of-Thumb Statistical Models for Presidential Voting Outcomes
Evidence from the Surveys
Implications for the Future of Conservative Republicanism
The Supply of Economic Outcomes
Political Parties and Macroeconomic Policies and Outcomes
The Party Cleavage Model
Unemployment and Real Output under the Parties
Empirical Results for the Models
Distributional Outcomes under the Parties
Macroeconomic Policies
Political Business Cycles
The Theory of Election Cycles
Empirical Analysis of Election Cycles
Election Cycles and Partisan Cycles
Politics and the Economy
Macroeconomic and Distributional Outcomes during Reagan's First Four Years
Macroeconomic Goals, Policies, and Outcomes under Reagan
Distributional Politics and Partisan Cleavages in Congress
Distributional Consequences of the Reagan Fiscal Program
The Legacy of Reaganomics to the American Political Economy
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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