The Presidential Puzzle: Political Cycles and the Stock Market

32 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2003

See all articles by Pedro Santa-Clara

Pedro Santa-Clara

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Rossen I. Valkanov

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Abstract

The excess return in the stock market is higher under Democratic than Republican presidencies: 9 percent for the value-weighted and 16 percent for the equal-weighted portfolio. The difference comes from higher real stock returns and lower real interest rates, is statistically significant, and is robust in subsamples. The difference in returns is not explained by business-cycle variables related to expected returns, and is not concentrated around election dates. There is no difference in the riskiness of the stock market across presidencies that could justify a risk premium. The difference in returns through the political cycle is therefore a puzzle.

Suggested Citation

Santa-Clara, Pedro and Valkanov, Rossen, The Presidential Puzzle: Political Cycles and the Stock Market. Journal of Finance, Vol. 58, pp. 1841-1872, October 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=447363

Pedro Santa-Clara (Contact Author)

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Lisbon
Portugal

HOME PAGE: http://docentes.fe.unl.pt/~psc/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Rossen Valkanov

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States
858-534-0898 (Phone)

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