Economic Voting: Average Monthly Job Growth

by Joshua Tucker on March 9, 2012 · 1 comment

in Blogs

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post just tweeted:

My election rule of thumb. If average job growth is 150 in 2012, Romney favored. 200k, Obama narrowly wins. 250k, Obama easily wins.

Intuitively, this makes a lot of sense to me. However, the last time I went through the US macro-economic voting literature, I don’t recall seeing any studies that focused on monthly job creation (although it has been a while). Does anyone know of any studies in the US that actually look at the relationship between average monthly job growth and economic voting in the US? Anywhere else?

This is not to stay the number isn’t going to be a good proxy for “recovery”, which undoubtedly will have a big effect on the election. I’m just curious as to whether we have any evidence linking this particular measure to voting (i.e., is it a better proxy than other measure?).

{ 1 comment }

John Baughman March 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

It’s not the peer-reviewed US macro-economic voting literature, but Nate Silver took a stab at this a month ago. His estimate of what constitutes good news for Obama is a bit lower than Klein’s:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/obamas-magic-number-150000-jobs-per-month/

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