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On Latin American Populism, And Its Echoes Around the World

Sebastian Edwards

No 26333, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: In this paper I discuss the ways in which populist experiments have evolved historically. Populists are charismatic leaders that use a fiery rhetoric to pitch the interests of “the people” against those of banks, large firms, multinational companies, the IMF, and immigrants. Populists implement redistributive policies that violate the basic laws of economics, and in particular budget constraints. Most populist experiments go through five distinct phases that span from euphoria to collapse. Historically, the vast majority of populist episodes end up with declines in national income. When everything is over, incomes of the poor and middle class tend to be lower than when the experiment was launched. I argue that many of the characteristics of traditional Latin American populism are present in more recent manifestations from around the globe.

JEL-codes: D71 D72 D74 D78 E52 E62 N16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hpe, nep-lam, nep-mac and nep-pol
Note: IFM
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (33)

Published as Sebastian Edwards, 2019. "On Latin American Populism, and Its Echoes around the World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol 33(4), pages 76-99.

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