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Want your pipes fixed? Call a plumber. Need an illness diagnosed? See a doctor. Looking to boost your country's economy? Choose a leader who was educated in economics.
The latter advice comes from Craig Brown, a visiting assistant professor of finance at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management who focuses on the intersection of finance and politics.
Brown - Backgrounds - Government - Leaders - United
Brown pored over the educational and professional backgrounds of 1,681 government leaders, including several United States presidents, and the economic data of 146 countries from 1950 to 2014. He found that economies performed better in countries after politicians educated in economics took power. The research is published online in the Journal of Monetary Economics.
"When I look at cases within the U.S., such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, who both studied economics, the story is consistent with what I find in the broader sample," he said. "It is easy to find other examples across the globe: Singapore, a country that is well known for its economic success, benefited from the effective leadership of Lee Kuan Yew throughout his long tenure; and Thabo Mbeki presided over the greatest economic expansion in South Africa since the country's experience with fully democratic elections in 1994. Both of these leaders studied economics."
Period - Brown - GDP - Capita - %
During the 65-year period, Brown found that GDP per capita grew by 1.53% in the year after countries transitioned from incumbents with a non-economic backgrounds to newly chosen presidents, prime ministers or other governmental leaders with an undergraduate or advanced degree in economics. Conversely, GDP per capita shrunk by 1.24% in countries in the year after leaders with non-economic backgrounds exchanged power. Brown found...
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