HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 7, 2013 – Dr. Jerry Fox, associate professor of economics at High Point University, recently published his research in the high-ranking “Journal of Macroeconomics.”
The paper, “Macroeconomic time consistency and wartime presidential approval,” is an analysis that examines the influence of war and the economy upon presidential popularity during the post-WWII period of 1948-2012.
“The article estimates the effects of war casualties and the macroeconomy upon presidential job approval in the post-WWII era,” Fox explains. “The analysis finds that the military casualties during the Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq and Afghanistan wars adversely impacted presidential popularity. The casualty effect upon job approval, however, is more adverse upon presidencies that initiate extended wars compared to subsequent administrations that inherit long wars from earlier presidencies.”
Fox notes that inflation, unemployment, war rallies and solder casualties are systematic factors upon presidential popularity in each of the three wartime periods. The casualty effect upon job approval is greatest during the Vietnam conflict, while economic influence upon popularity is greatest during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
“The median citizen’s macroeconomic preference is approximately time consistent in all three war episodes, with an inflation target of zero and an unemployment target close to the natural unemployment rate,” he adds. “This implies that macroeconomic overheating during wartime likely causes presidential popularity to decline.”
Fox says he is able to apply the principles in his research back to the classroom – specifically in his macroeconomics course. In particular, the results of his research show that the state of the macroeconomy affects political factors, such as presidential job approval and presidential election outcomes.
“The condition of the economy affects voter sentiment on the effectiveness of government,” Fox says. “Elected officials, in turn, respond to public attitudes when determining economic policies. Finally, economic policies affect the state of the economy. In this way, economics affects politics, and politics affects economics.”
Fox is currently writing an academic book for “Business Express Press titled U.S. Politics and the American Macroeconomy.”
Fox teaches macroeconomics and international economics in the Phillips School of Business.