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Populism

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  • Frisell, Lars

    ()
    (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

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    Abstract

    In their pursuit of being elected, politicians might not provide their constituents with independent viewpoints, but just try to outguess popular opinion. Although rational voters see through such populism, candidates can not resist resorting to it when the spoils of office are too large. For an intermediate parameter range, both populism and its opposite, “candor”, can be sustained as equilibria. This means that the public’s trust or distrust in politicians may be self-fulfilling prophecies. Importantly, the more informed politicians are about public opinion, the more likely it is that populist behavior can be avoided.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden) in its series Working Paper Series with number 166.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0166

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    Related research

    Keywords: popular opinion; electoral competition; candidate motivation; pandering; political trust;

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    8. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1993. "Economic Policy, Economic Performance, and Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 27-42, March.
    9. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
    10. Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1989. "Macroeconomic Populism in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 2986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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