Inflation's Historical Presidential Election Impact

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"We recently published an article in Social Science Research Network, ID 4657592, that identifies the economic forces that influence the share of the popular vote received by the incumbent party for the 17 Presidential elections over the 1956-2020 period. Our work identifying those forces has uncovered that voters remember inflation data only from nine months before an election. Employment data also have an impact on Presidential elections: here, voters’ memories go back 21 months. We derived these lags by testing every possible combination of monthly lags back from the election date, for every Presidential election since 1956. The 9-month memory for CPI and 21-month memory for employment held up consistently better than any other lag structure."


This article was originally published in RealClear Markets in April 2024.