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Tue Feb 2, 2021, 08:42 AM

The Economy Does Much Better Under Democrats. Why? [View all]


G.D.P., jobs and other indicators have all risen more slowly under Republicans for nearly the past century.

By David LeonhardtGraphics by Yaryna Serkez
Mr. Leonhardt is a senior writer at The Times. Ms. Serkez is a writer and graphics editor for Opinion.

Feb. 2, 2021, 5:00 a.m

A president has only limited control over the economy. And yet there has been a stark pattern in the United States for nearly a century. The economy has grown significantly faster under Democratic presidents than Republican ones.

It’s true about almost any major indicator: gross domestic product, employment, incomes, productivity, even stock prices. It’s true if you examine only the precise period when a president is in office, or instead assume that a president’s policies affect the economy only after a lag and don’t start his economic clock until months after he takes office. The gap “holds almost regardless of how you define success,” two economics professors at Princeton, Alan Blinder and Mark Watson, write. They describe it as “startlingly large.”

Since 1933, the economy has grown at an annual average rate of 4.6 percent under Democratic presidents and 2.4 percent under Republicans, according to a Times analysis. In more concrete terms: The average income of Americans would be more than double its current level if the economy had somehow grown at the Democratic rate for all of the past nine decades. If anything, that period (which is based on data availability) is too kind to Republicans, because it excludes the portion of the Great Depression that happened on Herbert Hoover’s watch.

The six presidents who have presided over the fastest job growth have all been Democrats, as you can see above. The four presidents who have presided over the slowest growth have all been Republicans.

The big question, of course, is why. And there are not easy answers.


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Reply The Economy Does Much Better Under Democrats. Why? [View all]
G_j Feb 2021 OP
no_hypocrisy Feb 2021 #1
Buckeye_Democrat Feb 2021 #3
Buckeyeblue Feb 2021 #5
Tommymac Feb 2021 #7
Buckeye_Democrat Feb 2021 #2
stevesinpa Feb 2021 #13
Harker Feb 2021 #4
tclambert Feb 2021 #15
Harker Feb 2021 #20
Wawannabe Feb 2021 #6
WarGamer Feb 2021 #8
Hortensis Feb 2021 #9
DFW Feb 2021 #10
Mike 03 Feb 2021 #11
malthaussen Feb 2021 #12
LiberalLovinLug Feb 2021 #14
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2021 #18
uponit7771 Feb 2021 #21
Dawson Leery Feb 2021 #16
Celerity Feb 2021 #19
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2021 #17
Vinca Feb 2021 #22