Political Cycles and Stock Returns

41 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2017 Last revised: 28 May 2019

See all articles by Lubos Pastor

Lubos Pastor

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Pietro Veronesi

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 26, 2019

Abstract

We develop a model of political cycles driven by time-varying risk aversion. Agents choose to work in the public or private sector and to vote Democrat or Republican. In equilibrium, when risk aversion is high, agents elect Democrats---the party promising more redistribution. The model predicts higher average stock market returns under Democratic presidencies, explaining the well-known ``presidential puzzle." The model can also explain why economic growth has been faster under Democratic presidencies. In the data, Democratic voters are more risk-averse and risk aversion declines during Democratic presidencies. Public workers vote Democrat while entrepreneurs vote Republican, as the model predicts.

Keywords: political cycles, risk aversion, presidential puzzle

JEL Classification: G12, G18, D72, P16

Suggested Citation

Pastor, Lubos and Veronesi, Pietro, Political Cycles and Stock Returns (May 26, 2019). Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 17-01; Fama-Miller Working Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2909281 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2909281

Lubos Pastor (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.ChicagoGSB.edu/fac/lubos.pastor/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Pietro Veronesi

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-6348 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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