Electoral Cycles in Macroprudential Regulation
65 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2018 Last revised: 8 Sep 2020
Date Written: September 7, 2020
Do politics matter for macroprudential policies? I show that changes in macroprudential regulation exhibit a predictable electoral cycle in the run-up to 221 elections across 58 countries from 2000 through 2014. Policies restricting mortgages and consumer credit are systematically looser before elections, particularly during expansions in credit and house prices. Consistent with theories of opportunistic political cycles, this pattern is stronger when election outcomes are uncertain, regulators are closely tied to politicians, and institutions are poor. These results suggest that political pressures may limit the ability of regulators to "lean against the wind."
Keywords: Macroprudential Regulation, Electoral Cycle, Regulatory Cycle, Political Economy, Central Bank Independence
JEL Classification: G18, G21, G28, D72, D73, P16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation