The (Un)Success of Trump's Economic Policy

Goran Miraščić


During the Trump administration, the American economy experienced some of the best results since World War II. Unemployment and poverty were at record lows and the stock market was booming. At the same time, the fiscal deficit and public debt increased, while the harm is done to the rules-basedthe international trading system is yet to be seen. Using historical data, the aim of this paper is to provide a comparative overview of some of the hallmarks of Trump’s economic policy taking a critical look at each one of them: tax cuts, deregulation, and protectionism. While the pre-pandemic U.S. economy wasin some aspects truly impressive, it is difficult to disentangle to what extent this was owed to the president’s economic policies and to what extent this was simply due to a positive external environment, which should be the subject of future scientific research. 


Trumponomics; economic nationalism; protectionism; macroeconomic policy

Full Text:



Amiti, Mary, Sang Hoon Kong, David E. Weinstein (2020), ˝The Investment Cost of the U.S.-China Trade War˝, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Liberty Street Economics, May 28, 2020,

BBC (2020), ˝US 2020 election: The economy under Trump in six charts˝, BBC News,

Beyer, Don (2020), ˝Did Trump Create or Inherit the Strong Economy?˝, Joint Economic Committee,

Di, Dongsheng, Gal Luft, Dian Zhong (2019), ˝Why did Trump launch a trade war? A political economy explanation from the perspective of financial constraints˝, Economic and Political Studies, 7(2), 203-216.

Habib, Jasmin, Michael Howard (2019), ˝The Political Economy of Donald J. Trump˝, In: Kowalski J. (ed.), Reading Donald Trump. The Evolving American Presidency, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Handley, Kyle, Nuno Limão (2017), ˝Trade under T.R.U.M.P. policies˝, In: C. P. Brown (ed.), Economics and Policy in the Age of Trump, CEPR Press, 141-152.

Krugman, Paul (2019), ˝Why Was Trumponomics a Flop?˝, The New York Times,

Long, Heather (2020), ˝The Trump vs. Obama economy – in 16 charts˝, The Washington Post,

Matute, Helena, FernandoBlanco, Ion Yarritu, Marcos Díaz-Lago, Miguel A. Vadillo, Itxaso Barberia (2015), ˝Illusions of causality: How they bias our everyday thinking and how they could be reduced˝, Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1-14.

Politi, James, Brooke Fox (2020), ˝The rise and fall of the Trump economy in charts˝, Financial Times,

Posen, Adam S. (2018), ˝The post-American world economy: Globalization in the trump era˝, Foreign Affairs, 97(2), 28-38.

Rao, Nirupama (2017), ˝Tax reform in the Age of Trump˝, In: C. P. Brown (ed.), Economics and Policy in the Age of Trump, CEPR Press, 89-99.

Senses, Mine Zeynep (2017), ˝Globalisation and US labour markets˝, In: C. P. Brown (ed.), Economics and Policy in the Age of Trump, CEPR Press, 49-56.

Smialek, Jeanna, Sarah Kliff, Alan Rappeport (2020), ˝U.S. Poverty Hit a Record Low Before the Pandemic Recession˝, The New York Times.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. (2018), ˝Trump and globalization˝, Journal of Policy Modeling, 40(3), 515-528.

The Economist (2020), ˝How to judge President Trump’s economic record˝, The Economist,

Thorbecke, Catherine (2021), ˝A look at Trump’s economic legacy˝, ABC News,

Watts, William (2021), ˝Stock-market performance under Trump trails only Obama and Clinton˝, Market Watch,

Zandi, Mark, Jesse Rogers, Maria Cosma (2019), ˝Trade War Chicken: The Tariffs and the Damage Done˝, Moody’s Analytics,



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN: 2490-3604 (print) ● ISSN: 2490-3647 (online)

Društvene i humanističke studije - DHS is under the Creative Commons licence.