Business, College of


Date of this Version

June 1984


Published in Journal of Economic History, Vol. XLIV, No. 2 (June 1984). Copyright © The Economic History Association. Used by permission.


Previous studies of the political business cycle have examined time series data to determine whether a pattern of pre-election boom and post-election slump exists. The studies do not investigate the behavior and mechanisms by which a politician may effectuate a political business cycle. We focus on one time period, 1969 to 1972, and conclude that President Nixon's personality and operating environment explain why he manipulated the economy for political gain. The mechanisms he utilized to improve macroeconomic conditions before the 1972 election include monetary policy, fiscal policy, and wage-price controls.

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