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Democracy, Populism and Hyperinflation(s): Some Evidence from Latin America

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  • Manoel Bittencourt

Abstract

We test for the populist view of inflation in Latin America between 1970 and 2007. The empirical results - based on the relatively novel panel time-series data and analysis - confirm the theoretical prediction that recently elected governments coming into power after periods of political dictatorship, and which are faced with high economic inequality, end up generating high inflation and macroeconomic instability. All in all, we suggest that the implementation of democracy as such requires not only the right political context' - or an appropriately constrained executive - to work well, but it also must come with certain economic institutions (e.g. central bank independence and a credible and responsible fiscal authority), institutions which would raise the costs of pursuing populist policies in the first place.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 169.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:169

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Keywords: Democracy; populism; hyperination; Latin America;

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References

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  1. Easterly, William & Fischer, Stanley, 2001. "Inflation and the Poor," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 160-78, May.
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  7. Al-Marhubi, Fahim, 1997. "A note on the link between income inequality and inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 317-319, September.
  8. Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992. "Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Beetsma, Roel M W J & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1996. " Does Inequality Cause Inflation?: The Political Economy of Inflation, Taxation and Government Debt," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 143-62, April.
  10. M.F.Meyer Bittencourt, 2005. "Macroeconomic Performance and Inequality: Brazil 1983-94," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/114, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
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  14. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Edwards, Sebastian, 1990. "Macroeconomic populism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 247-277, April.
  15. Steve Bond, 2002. "Dynamic panel data models: a guide to microdata methods and practice," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Arellano, Manuel, 2003. "Panel Data Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245291.
  18. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2004. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," CESifo Working Paper Series 1331, CESifo Group Munich.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bittencourt, Manoel, 2012. "Financial development and economic growth in Latin America: Is Schumpeter right?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 341-355.
  2. Bittencourt, Manoel, 2012. "Inflation and economic growth in Latin America: Some panel time-series evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 333-340.
  3. Manoel Bittencourt, 2011. "Is Copacabana Still the ‘Little Princess of the Sea’?," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(1), pages 11-16, 03.
  4. Manoel Bittencourt, 2013. "Democracy and Education: Evidence from the Southern African Development Community," Working Papers 201387, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  5. Bittencourt, Manoel, 2012. "Inflación y crecimiento económico: Evidencia con datos de panel para América del Sur," Revista Estudios Económicos, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, issue 23, pages 25-38.
  6. Manoel Bittencourt, 2010. "Financial Development and Economic Growth in Latin America: Schumpeter is Right!," Working Papers 201014, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

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