Democratic presidents have enjoyed 4.35% annual GDP growth on average since the end of World War II, while Republican presidents have seen GDP growth of just 2.54%, according to two Princeton economists.
In a working paper published with the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson also say that the performance for nearly every other factor by which one can measure the health of the economy — jobs growth and inflation, for instance — is superior under Democrats.
But political party has nothing to do with this outcome. Almost all that success is to an overwhelming degree the result of luck.
Since Harry Truman, the party of Jefferson has managed to avoid major oil shocks, ride through changes in productivity, and preside over a more stable international scene, they write. All of which are largely outside the bounds of domestic policy.
“These factors together explain slightly more than half of the 1.80 percentage point” growth gap, they say. “The rest remains, for now, a mystery of the still mostly-unexplored continent.”
What’s more, the apparent Democrat advantage has been eroding over time: The economists note most of the Democratic outperformance came in the first part of the surveyed years, during the Truman, Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Here’s the breakdown by term…
…And by administration.