Similar economic records found for Democratic, Republican presidents

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Political scientists James Campbell says there have been no significant differences in the economics records of the two presidential parties over the past three decades.

In his recent book “Unequal Democracy,” noted Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels reaches the controversial conclusion that Democratic presidents have generally done a better job in handling the economy.

According to Bartels, economic growth has been greater, unemployment has been lower and income-inequality has been slightly reduced under Democratic presidents. As he sees it, Democrats have had a better record across the board.

But James Campbell, UB professor of political science and widely published author on American politics, says Bartels is incorrect.

In “A Refutation of ‘Unequal Democracy,’” a paper he recently presented at the Northeastern Political Science Meeting, Campbell concludes, after re-examining the economic data, that there have been no significant differences in the economic records of the two presidential parties over the past 60 years.

Both Campbell and Bartels obtained the data for their studies from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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