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
Date Written: June 20, 2016
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
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