The Economy Grows Faster Under Democratic Presidents

Jared Bernstein comments on a “provocative new paper by the economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson that rigorously examines how the economy has performed under presidents since the 1940s. Their main questions are: Which party’s presidents preside over better economies and why?”

“Their answer to the first question is clear: The American economy has grown faster — and scored higher on many other macroeconomic metrics — when the president of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican.”

“The two looked at key macroeconomic variables averaged over 64 years (16 four-year terms), from Harry Truman to Barack Obama. Mr. Blinder and Mr. Watson focus mostly on the 1.8 percent annual difference in real G.D.P. growth. That is, over the full study, real G.D.P. growth averaged 3.33 percent per year. But under Democratic presidents the economy grew 4.35 percent and under Republicans 2.54 percent.”


Chart: CBS News

Bernstein concludes: “It is glaringly obvious that complex, advanced economies need well-functioning federal governments that can accurately diagnose and prescribe; they need governments that can absorb factual information and respond to threats and opportunities. These requirements hold regardless of the president’s party, and the fact that we do not currently have such a federal government is without doubt what’s most important and most scary.”

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  • Mark_in_VA

    We’ve known this for a long time. Just another master stroke of propaganda by regressives that Republicans are the party of the economy.

  • pbrower2a

    Basically it is good investment advice to buy when Democrats take over the Presidency and dump when a Republican takes over.

  • woodt

    This is nothing new. You will also show major Job growth differences if compared.
    You will see higher growth in debt if compared also.

  • John Dickson

    You can assemble your own data to test these conclusions at a great site –

  • josh

    There is more to this than just a graph as in Clintons term Republicans owned the house and senate and they were able to work together. A total one party is dangerous for federal government and state. Here in MN Democrats owned both house and senate and have highly taxed businesses and people. Instead of using common sense to fix our budget they didn’t cut anything just added new taxes to pay and that is dangerous to every citizen. We were much better off as a state when we had a Repub governor and Demo house and senate.

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