Partisanship and Economic Behavior: Do Partisan Differences in Economic Forecasts Predict Real Economic Behavior?

American Political Science Review, Vol. 103, pp. 407-426, 2009

Posted: 26 Jan 2010

See all articles by Alan Gerber

Alan Gerber

Yale University - Department of Political Science; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Gregory Huber

Yale University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Survey data regularly show that assessments of current and expected future economic performance are more positive when a respondent's partisanship matches that of the president. To determine if this is a survey artifact or something deeper, we investigate whether partisanship is associated with behavioral differences in economic decisions. We construct a new data set of county-level quarterly taxable sales to examine the effect of partisanship on consumption. Consumption change following a presidential election is correlated with a county's partisan complexion, a result consistent with partisans acting outside the domain of politics in accordance with the opinions they express in surveys. These results support an expansive view of the role of partisanship in mass politics and help validate surveys as a method for studying political behavior.

Keywords: Partisanship, assessment of economic performance, economic decisions, economic behavior, presidential elections

JEL Classification: A12

Suggested Citation

Gerber, Alan and Huber, Gregory, Partisanship and Economic Behavior: Do Partisan Differences in Economic Forecasts Predict Real Economic Behavior? (2009). American Political Science Review, Vol. 103, pp. 407-426, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1542689

Alan Gerber (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5232 (Phone)

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Gregory Huber

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States

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