Elisabeth Kempf, Margarita Tsoutsoura, 21 December 2018

Partisanship in the US is on the rise. With growing disagreement across voters of different political parties on key issues, understanding the potential implications of this trend for the US economy is of first-order importance. This column examines the degree to which partisan ideology affects the decisions of financial analysts. Using a novel dataset that links credit rating analysts to party affiliations from voter registration records, it shows that analysts who are not affiliated with the US president's party are more likely to downward-adjust corporate credit ratings.

Giovanni Peri, Anna Maria Mayda, Walter Steingress, 02 February 2016

Immigration is an important election issue that often benefits right-wing political parties. Contemporary European politics is an example par excellence. Immigration in the US has been intermittently at the fringes and centre-stage in recent years, and this column looks at the extent to which US voters care about immigration. The political effect of immigration turns out to crucially depend on the extent to which immigrants participate in the political process. One thing from the research is clear: Republicans are generally opposed to immigration reforms, especially if they include a path to citizenship for currently undocumented immigrants. Naturalised immigrants are a liability for conservative politicians, as they tend to vote for progressive parties.

Ethan Ilzetzki, Jonathan Pinder, 20 October 2012

The US economy is struggling out of its deepest recession since the 1930s. In this climate, economic policy promises made by the presidential candidates are critical. This column reviews the facts on the state of the US economy, and how it got there, before reviewing the candidates’ promises. Given the monumental challenges, the lack of policy detail from the candidates is worrying.

Claude Barfield, 01 August 2009

Six months into his presidency, Barack Obama has failed to grasp the nettle on trade and investment policy. This column says Obama has been weak and indecisive in the face of deep divisions within the Democratic Party over international economic policy. His deference to Congress has resulted in poor policymaking.

Claude Barfield, 11 April 2009

The US is doing little to further the Doha round of WTO negotiations. Has the Obama administration merely had its hands full with other issues in its early days? This column says that the neglect is intentional – US politics have shifted against trade and the administration has acted in ways that might jettison the current negotiations.

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