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Populismo para economistas

Santiago Picasso (), Felipe Berruti (), Andrés Rius () and Maximiliano Machado ()
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Santiago Picasso: Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía
Felipe Berruti: Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía
Maximiliano Machado: Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía

No 20-11, Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) from Instituto de Economia - IECON

Abstract: The concept of Populism is frequently associated with political sciences. However, it has also been linked to Economics, or more precisely, to political economy, even though (we shall argue) with limited success. Since Dornbusch and Edwards (1991) and to the more recent Acemoglu (2013), the phenomenon had been described briefly and superficially with the main objective of enabling the researchers to conduct conventional economic analyses, making it therefore an unlikely candidate for robust explanation. For that reason, the current document points to the traditional economic definition as inadequate, and a decision is made to revisit the literature on definition and scope of populism, which implies going beyond the boundaries of the economic discipline. In the first chapter, we develop a typology of definitions, from the contribution of several authors (Rode and Revuelta, 2015; Gidron y Bonikowski, 2013; Weyland, 2001), who explore various factors in their conceptualizations and balance the pros and cons of rival definitions for different purposes. They conclude that definitions of populism that do not come from the economic literature perform better at addressing research questions that come from economics. Based on the methodological discussion of Chapter 1, we embrace Weyland’s definition (Weyland, 2001), with the aim of empirically analyzing the effects of populism on economic policy. To that end, we employ a qualitative methodology of comparative analysis, not very frequent in economic research, looking for logical configurations (Ragin, 2014) that might account for the relationship between the tax policy and the phenomenon of populism. The use of these methods differs from conventional economic analyses in at least two crucial points: first, it defines governments instead of countries as the unit of analyses; second, the economic literature that has worked in these studies tends to invest more time and effort in causes rather than effects, while our on work is more heavily loaded on the consequences than on the causes of populism. The results of our empirical work show that it is not necessary to be a populist to be on the side of reforms. It also implies that the populist discourse is not necessarily consistent with the policies actually implemented.

Keywords: populism; taxes; political economy; Latin America (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H20 D72 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2020-06
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