Books on the Economy

The President as Economist: Scoring Economic Performance from Harry Truman to Barack Obama

Desk Reference on the Economy

This book provides evaluations of American presidents over the course of 66 years of U.S. economic history, using quantitative data to provide credible, defensible answers to controversial questions like “Whose economic policies were more effective, Ronald Reagan’s or Bill Clinton’s?”

The President as Economist: Scoring Economic Performance from Harry Truman to Barack Obama provides eye-opening insights about matters of critical importance for the future of the United States. Author Richard J. Carroll tackles a topic that he has been focused on for more than 20 years, providing balanced assessments and rankings of each presidential administration according to numerous key performance indicators—quantitative data. The final chapter combines all of the data to present a numeric score (Presidential Performance Index-PPI) for each administration that allows an overall ranking of the 12 presidents.

The analysis covers 66 years of U.S. economic history, ranging from 1946 through 2011. The earlier administrations of Harry S. Truman through Jimmy Carter set the context against which more recent presidencies are judged. This title will be an invaluable resource for everyone from general readers to students at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels, as well as journalists, lobbyists, and anyone directly or indirectly involved in the political process.

• An appendix provides the official data upon which the rankings are based

• Provides credible presidential rankings that American citizens can use to make smarter political choices that could affect the nation’s ability to avoid the next Great Recession
• Presents desperately needed additional analysis—not opinion—on the public political debate to enable Americans to understand the context of our policy-making and be less easily swayed by ideology and platitudes
• Reveals the strengths and weaknesses of both Republicans and Democrats in specific areas

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Congressional Quarterly’s Desk Reference on the Economy

Desk Reference on the Economy
Over 600 Answers to Questions that will Help You Understand News, Trends, and Issues

Perfect Election Year Briefing on the Economy July 18, 2000 Reviewer: James Cullinane

Carroll’s Desk Reference on the Economy is comprehensive, issues oriented and balanced. These qualities make it great for getting up to speed for economic issues in the 2000 election. The sections on Social Security, Environment, Taxes and Presidential performance measures are especially strong. The Q&A format works well. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get more out of the news.

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An Economic Record of Presidential Performance

An Economic Record of Presidential Performance

From The Publisher

For the first time, trends in 20 major economic and federal budget indicators, most reported since World War II, are presented in a single source. The economic performances under each presidential administration are ranked for each indicator, as well as for their overall performance. The results are often surprising and counter-intuitive, challenging many popular beliefs. This presentation of averages, trends, and illustrations will allow scholars, students, and others interested in economics, politics, and history, to interpret economic news more effectively.
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Selected Chapter Summaries

  • Introduction: Scope, Goals, and Objectives
  • Chapter One: Major Events and Timeline 1945-1995
    The first chapter gives a timeline of events that changed the economy, The Great Depression, Bretton Woods, the Tax Cut of 1964, the Vietnam War, Oil Crises of 1973 and 1979, and so on. You can skip directly to the event you want or scroll through the history of the last 60 years.
  • Chapter Two: GDP
    Chapter Two explains the GDP and underlying factors to give you a better understanding of presidential economic performance.
  • Chapter Three: Employment Growth and the Unemployment Rate
    Chapter 3 explains the trends in employment and why employment growth is needed to complement the unemployment rate to measure performance.
  • Chapter Fifteen: Overall Presidential Economic Performance: A Synthesis of the Indicators
    Chapter 15 use brings all of the private and public sector indicators together so you can get the big picture of presidential performance. Which president did best? Which did worst? This concluding chapter tells you.

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