Economic Leadership and Growth

78 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2012 Last revised: 2 Nov 2019

See all articles by Craig Brown

Craig Brown

Purdue University - Department of Finance

Date Written: October 31, 2019


Economies governed by former economics students grow faster than economies governed by leaders with other education backgrounds; a result which is most evident for presidents. Faster growth (average growth) occurs during an economic leader’s first year (entire tenure), primarily through investment. When focusing on close elections which “quasi-randomize” economic leadership, I find a large effect that is robust controlling for a leader’s advanced education. Investors seem to hasten their activity in anticipation of their economic leader’s eventual reduction of the top personal income-tax rate. Overall, the findings suggest that economic leaders improve short-term growth through the anticipation of policy changes.

Keywords: Government Leadership, Economics Education, Economic Growth, Policy Anticipation, Government Finance, Tax Cuts

JEL Classification: A20, E32, H11, H24, H30, O23

Suggested Citation

Brown, Craig O., Economic Leadership and Growth (October 31, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Craig O. Brown (Contact Author)

Purdue University - Department of Finance ( email )

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States


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