Friday, April 20, 2012

Analysis of 2007 Polling

Here.

Brad Plumer Interviews Me in the Washington Post

Here.

Christina Romer Pleads for Less Austerity, More Stimulus

Add another voice to the chorus calling for European nations to rethink their disastrous commitment to austerity before it is too late.

Incidentally, Romer shrewdly notes that Sarkozy's retirement reform is a back-loaded fiscal consolidation of the type she recommends and further observes that Hollande will retain it with only minor modifications, both points I have made repeatedly.

Election Laws

A lawyer explains for those who are interested in the details.

Sarkozy's Degraded Image: An In-Depth Survey

Here. (h/t Myos)

Possible Surprises?

Éric Dupin speculates.

Hollande and American Campaign Tactics

An interesting article here. (h/t Tom Holzman)

Tax Reform and the Election

A special issue of the Revue de l'OFCE is devoted to the topic.

Joly's Last Stand

I don't think this was well-judged, but I suppose it was no worse than the rest of her campaign:


Hollande Supports Intervention in Syria

With the US government now hinting openly that it may support armed intervention in Syria, François Hollande wasted no time in declaring his support for a UN-led mission.

The Unions and the Election

Médiapart tries to get Jean-Claude Mailly of Force Ouvrière to throw his weight behind Hollande, but Mailly insists that the unions will not have an easy time of it no matter who wins the election. The constraints are in the country's economic situation, not the policy of either leading candidate:


La CGT estime que réélire Nicolas Sarkozy« ouvrirait, à coup sûr, une nouvelle séquence de lourds reculs sociaux ». M. Mailly, êtes-vous d’accord ?JCM. Je ne dis pas que ça n'arrivera pas demain si Nicolas Sarkozy est réélu. Je ne dis pas que si un autre candidat est élu il n'y aura pas de programme d'austérité. Moi, c'est ma plus grande inquiétude. Quel que soit le résultat de l’élection.

Le vent en poupe?

The final IPSOS poll before the blackout shows Hollande opening up a substantial gap of 3.5 points over Sarkozy in the first round. In the close second-tier contest between Le Pen and Mélenchon, Le Pen is now placed ahead, 16 to 14. Are these shifts real? Who knows? Sunday will tell the tale, and I can stop this mindless horse race reporting, which somebody with a Ph. D. in mathematics ought to know could well be statistical noise. Still, it's only human to speculate, and in these final days of the campaign, perhaps the polls are picking up early signs of a bandwagon effect: Hollande looks like a winner, so some who were going to give their protest vote to Mélenchon may be choosing to go for the gold.

Blanchard, Lagarde of IMF Are Nervous

Olivier Blanchard, chief economist of the IMF, is nervous:

The fund this week upgraded its estimate of global growth in 2012 and 2013 from estimates made in January, but did so with major caveats. “An uneasy calm remains,” said Olivier Blanchard, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist. “One has the feeling that any moment, things could well get very bad again.”
Christine Lagarde, director of the IMF, darkens the metaphor from "uneasy calm" to "dark clouds on the horizon":

There is a “light recovery blowing in a spring wind” with “dark clouds on the horizon,” Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said Thursday, at the start of meetings here that will focus on Europe’s troubles and global growth. Ms. Lagarde implored world leaders not to become complacent.
Will such warnings, coupled with a Socialist victory in the French elections, be enough to shift the balance of thinking in Europe, and especially Germany, away from austerity and toward emergency measures to fight a relapse into deep recession? It's not at all clear, but "Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer" (William of Orange).

The Youth Vote, Redux

Young people 18-24 are not terribly excited about any of the candidates, according to the latest IFOP survey, and many are still undecided or will abstain. Of those who have made up their minds,
According to the IFOP study, Hollande is the presidential hopeful that young French voters would most likely vote for in the first round (30%, topping Sarkozy’s 28%). “There’s a real right-left split, because the right does well among graduates of the most selective business, management, and public policy schools. Sarkozy also does well among medical and engineering students,” Kraus assessed. “Hollande does better among technical students and those studying humanities.”
As for other candidates, the study found that far-left Mélenchon would get 15% of all student votes, whereas far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen would get 11%. A different poll, carried out by leading market research firm CSA for daily newspaper Le Monde, surprisingly had Le Pen leading the pack of candidates among young voters with 26% of the vote.
(h/t Greg Brown)