One of the most important things that a president does to influence the economy is prepare/propose/haggle/& eventually sign, a federal budget. The federal budget in the first year of a president's term is set by the president in the previous year, so I used one year as a time lag. For instance, Kennedy took office in January, 1961, but he had effectively no budgetary influence until the new federal fiscal year began in the following October. Thus, I assigned 1961 as a Republican year as well.
The idea for this data set came from Michael Kinsley, writing for the Los Angeles Times, in an opinion column published in August, 2004. He took some of these variables and calculated the means of each variable within each party and compared them. He did not account for the variability in the data nor did he attempt any valid statistical inferences. For instance, just because the mean unemployment under Democratic presidents was smaller than that under Republican presidents does not mean that the result was unlikely to have happened under chance alone.
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