Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1703342
 
 

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A Political Theory of Populism


Daron Acemoglu


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Georgy Egorov


Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; NBER

Konstantin Sonin


Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

November 5, 2010

MIT Department of Economics Working Paper, Forthcoming

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 choose policies to the left of the median voter as a way of signaling that he is not from the right (while truly right-wing politicians also signal by choosing moderate or even left-of-center policies). This leftist 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; and when politicians are indeed likely to have a hidden right-wing agenda. We show that similar results apply when some politicians can be corrupted or influenced through other non-electoral means by the rich elite.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

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Date posted: November 5, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Acemoglu, Daron and Egorov, Georgy and Sonin, Konstantin, A Political Theory of Populism (November 5, 2010). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1703342 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1703342

Contact Information

Daron Acemoglu
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )
50 Memorial Drive
Room E52-380b
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-1927 (Phone)
617-253-1330 (Fax)
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Georgy Egorov
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
NBER ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Konstantin Sonin (Contact Author)
Higher School of Economics ( email )
20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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