Reference : Washington meets Wall Street: A closer examination of the Presidential cycle puzzle
Scientific journals : Article
Business & economic sciences : Finance
Washington meets Wall Street: A closer examination of the Presidential cycle puzzle
Kräussl, Roman mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Luxembourg School of Finance (LSF) >]
Lucas, A [> >]
Rijsbergen, D. [> >]
Sluis, P. [> >]
Vrugt, E. [> >]
Journal of International Money and Finance
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] We show that the annual excess return of the S&P 500 is almost 10 percent higher
during the last two years of the presidential cycle than during the first two years.
This pattern cannot be explained by business-cycle variables capturing timevarying
risk premia, differences in risk levels, or by consumer and investor
sentiment. We formally test the presidential election cycle (PEC) hypothesis as the
alternative explanation found in the literature for explaining the presidential cycle
anomaly. The PEC states that incumbent parties and presidents have an incentive
to manipulate the economy (via budget expansions and taxes) to remain in power.
We formulate eight empirically-testable propositions relating to the fiscal, monetary,
tax, unexpected inflation and political implications of the PEC hypothesis. We do
not find statistically significant evidence confirming the PEC hypothesis as a
plausible explanation for the presidential cycle effect. The presidential cycle effect
in U.S. financial markets thus remains a puzzle that cannot be easily explained by
politicians employing their economic influence to remain in power, as is often

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