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ABSTRACT. Recent research by Baker et al. (2013) has created a historical indicator of economic policy uncertainty in the United States, based on an index score derived from content analyses of major U.S. newspapers. Empirical work using this measure has primarily focused on the economic consequences of shifts in economic policy uncertainty. The purpose of this project is to make the first empirical attempt at assessing whether changes in economic policy uncertainty have any role on the tone the President of the United States adopts when speaking about general economic conditions. Using the economic policy uncertainty information devised by Baker et al. (2013), and contrasting this with information about presidential rhetorical tone about the economy developed by Wood (2007), the vector autoregression analysis indicates prior levels of economic policy uncertainty Granger-causes current presidential rhetorical optimism about the economy. The moving average representation analysis suggests that an increase in the economic policy uncertainty index results in a decrease in presidential rhetorical optimism about the general economy. pp. 54–76
JEL codes: E02; E60; C22

Keywords: economic policy uncertainty; macroeconomics; presidential economic rhetoric; presidential economic optimism; political communication; presidential communication

How to cite: Olds, Christopher (2015), “The Negative Effect of Economic Policy Uncertainty on Presidential Rhetorical Optimism about the Economy in the United States,” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets 10(2): 54–76.

CHRISTOPHER OLDS
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Department of Political Science,
University of Central Florida

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