2008/01: Political parties and the economy: Macro convergence, micro partisanship?
In the last days of the electoral campaign for the 2004 general election in Spain, on Thursday March 11th 2004, a series of simultaneous terror attacks caused the death of 191 persons in commuting trains in the capital Madrid. Four days later, the opposition party won the election, against all predictions that were made prior to the terror attacks. This change in expectations presents a unique opportunity to take advantage of event study techniques to test some politico-economic hypotheses. The quantitative exercise is carried out employing Seemingly Unrelated Regressions (SUR). Hypothesis testing is improved by means of bootstrapping techniques. Convergence theories prove quite resilient as, jointly, quoted firms were not significantly affected by the election outcome. The results on the impact on particular companies and industries, however, suggest that a combination of capture and agency problems may play a role in explaining the effects of the change in expectations.