EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

A Political Theory of Populism

Daron Acemoglu, Georgy Egorov () and Konstantin Sonin ()

No 17306, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: When voters fear that politicians may have a right-wing bias or that they may be influenced or corrupted by the rich elite, signals of true left-wing conviction are valuable. As a consequence, even a moderate politician seeking reelection chooses "populist' policies - i.e., policies to the left of the median voter - as a way of signaling that he is not from the right. Truly right-wing politicians respond by choosing more moderate, or even left-of-center policies. This populist bias of policy is greater when the value of remaining in office is higher for the politician; when there is greater polarization between the policy preferences of the median voter and right-wing politicians; when politicians are indeed more likely to have a hidden right-wing agenda; when there is an intermediate amount of noise in the information that voters receive; when politicians are more forward-looking; and when there is greater uncertainty about the type of the incumbent. We show that similar results apply when some politicians can be corrupted or influenced through other non-electoral means by the rich elite. We also show that 'soft term limits' may exacerbate, rather than reduce, the populist bias of policies.

JEL-codes: C71 D71 D74 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-cta, nep-gth, nep-lam and nep-pol
Date: 2011-08
Note: POL
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2013. "A Political Theory of Populism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 771-805.

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w17306.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: A Political Theory of Populism (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: A Political Theory of Populism (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: A Political Theory of Populism (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: A Political Theory of Populism (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: A Political Theory of Populism (2010) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17306

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w17306

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2019-09-26
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17306