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The Political and Economic Consequences of Populist Rule in Latin America

Government and Opposition, Forthcoming

47 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2016 Last revised: 22 Jun 2016

Christian Houle

Michigan State University - Department of Political Science

Paul D. Kenny

Australian National University (ANU)

Date Written: June 20, 2016

Abstract

While populist rule has become increasingly prevalent in the developing world, much of our knowledge about its implications remains anecdotal and contradictory. In this paper, we conduct the most comprehensive large-N cross-national test of the consequences of populist rule to date. Using data on 19 Latin American states, we find that populism’s implications are mostly negative: (1) populist regimes tend to erode institutional and legal constraints on executive authority; (2) participation rates are not higher under populist governments or for populist campaigners; and (3) populist rule, even under left-wing populists, is not associated with more redistribution than non-populist democratic rule. We perform instrumental variable estimations and a quasi-experimental analysis to address the potential endogeneity of populism.

Keywords: Populism, Latin America, Democracy

Suggested Citation

Houle, Christian and Kenny, Paul D., The Political and Economic Consequences of Populist Rule in Latin America (June 20, 2016). Government and Opposition, Forthcoming . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2798404

Christian Houle

Michigan State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

Paul Kenny (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.pauldkenny.com

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