한국개발연구. Vol. 14, No. 1, April 1992, pp. 147-165
This paper analyzes the macroeconomic effects of elections on the Korean economy and their future ramifications. It measures the shocks to the Korean economy caused by elections by taking the average of sample forecast errors from four major elections held in the 1980s. The seven variables' Bayesian Vector Auto regression Model which includes the Monetary Base, Industrial Production, Consumption, Consumer Price, Exports, and Investment is based on the quarterly time series data starting from 1970 and is updated every quarter before forecasts are made for the next quarter. Because of this updating of coefficients, which reflects in part the rapid structural changes of the Korean economy, this study can capture the shock effect of elections, which is not possible when using election dummies with a fixed coefficient model. In past elections, especially the elections held in the 1980s, M2 did not show any particular movement, but the currency and base money increased during the quarter of the election was held and the increment was partly recalled in the next quarter. The liquidity of interest rates as measured by corporate bond yields fell during the quarter the election and then rose in the following quarter, which is somewhat contrary to the general concern that interest rates will increase during election periods. Manufacturing employment fell in the quarter of the election because workers turned into campaigners. This decline in employment combined with voting holiday produce a sizeable decline in industrial production during the quarter in which elections are held, but production catches up in the next quarter and sometimes more than offsets the disruption caused during the election quarter. The major shocks to price occur in the previous quarter, reflecting the expectational effect and the relaxation of government price control before the election when we simulate the impulse responses of the V AR model, imposing the same shocks that was measured in the past elections for each election to be held in 1992 and assuming that the elections in 1992 will affect the economy in the same manner as in the 1980selections, 1992 is expected to see a sizeable increase in monetary base due to election and prices increase pressure will be amplified substantially. On the other hand, the consumption increase due to election is expected to be relatively small and the production will not decrease. Despite increased liquidity, a large portion of liquidity in circulation being used as election funds will distort the flow of funds and aggravate the fund shortage causing investments in plant and equipment and construction activities to stagnate. These effects will be greatly amplified if elections for the head of local government are going to be held this year. If mayoral and gubernatorial elections are held after National Assembly elections, their effect on prices and investment will be approximately double what they normally will have been have only congressional and presidential elections been held. Even when mayoral and gubernatorial elections are held at the same time as congressional elections, the elections of local government heads are shown to add substantial effects to the economy for the year. The above results are based on the assumption that this year's elections will shock the economy in the same manner as in past elections. However, elections in consecutive quarters do not give the economy a chance to pause and recuperate from past elections. This year's elections may have greater effects on prices and production than shown in the model's simulations because campaigners' return to industry may be delayed. Therefore, we may not see a rapid recall of money after elections. In view of the surge in the monetary base and price escalation in the periods before and after elections, economic management in 1992 should place its first priority on controlling the monetary aggregate, in particular, stabilizing the growth of the monetary base.