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Party Platforms, Mandates, and Government Spending

  • Gary King (a1), Michael Laver (a2), Richard I. Hofferbert (a3), Ian Budge (a4) and Michael D. McDonald (a3)...

In their 1990 Review article, Ian Budge and Richard Hofferbert analyzed the relationship between party platform emphases, control of the White House, and national government spending priorities, reporting strong evidence of a “party mandate” connection between them. Gary King and Michael Laver successfully replicate the original analysis, critique the interpretation of the causal effects, and present a reanalysis showing that platforms have small or nonexistent effects on spending. In response, Budge, Hofferbert, and Michael McDonald agree that their language was somewhat inconsistent on both interactions and causality but defend their conceptualization of “mandates” as involving only an association, not necessarily a causal connection, between party commitments and government policy. Hence, while the causes of government policy are of interest, noncausal associations are sufficient as evidence of party mandates in American politics.

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Budge, Ian, and Hofferbert, Richard I.. 1990. “Mandates and Policy Outputs: U.S. Party Platforms and Federal Expenditures.” American Political Science Review 84:111–32.
Budge, Ian, Robertson, David, and Hearl, Derek, eds. 1987. Ideology, Strategy, and Party Change: Spatial Analyses of PostWar Election Programmes in 19 Democracies. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Dewald, William G., Thursby, Jerry G., and Anderson, Richard G.. 1986. “Replication in Empirical Economics: The Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking Project.” American Economic Review 76:587603.
Epstein, Leon. 1986. Political Parties in the American Mold. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Granger, G. W. J., and Newbold, P.. 1974. “Spurious Regressions in Econometrics.” Journal of Econometrics 2:111120.
Klingemann, Hans-Dieter, Hofferbert, Richard I., Budge, Ian, Keman, Hans, Perry, Francois, Bergman, Torbjorn, and Strom, Kaare. 1993. Parties, Policies, and Democracy. Boulder: Westview.
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American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
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