On Latin American Populism, and Its Echoes around the World
- (pp. 76-99)
AbstractIn this article, I discuss the ways in which populist experiments have evolved historically. Populists are charismatic leaders who use a fiery rhetoric to pitch the interests of "the people" against those of banks, large firms, multinational companies, the International Monetary Fund, 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 badly; 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.
CitationEdwards, Sebastian. 2019. "On Latin American Populism, and Its Echoes around the World." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 33 (4): 76-99. DOI: 10.1257/jep.33.4.76
- D72 Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H23 Taxation and Subsidies: Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
- O17 Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements