US presidents linked to pro-business political parties tend to be better at economic management, new research suggests.
The Georgia Institute of Technology study, published in the PS: Political Science and Politics journal drew on 220 years of data to estimate an economic “grade point average” for presidents who served from 1789 to 2009.
Data was taken from the Measuring Worth Project at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Presidents were then graded individually using the traditional A-F (4-0 point) scale based on how well each performed in eight economic areas including unemployment, inflation, interest rates, and currency strength.
The study concluded US presidents with below average economic performance often belonged to parties that were relatively pro-farmer, pro-labourer, or pro-consumer.
The best-performing recent presidents, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, received ‘B’ marks.
At the top of the class were Warren G. Harding and William Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley, all awarded ‘A’. Coming in at ‘A-’ was George Washington, followed by John Adams, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy, who made the ‘A-/B+’ range.