IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/col/000094/003357.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Populist Policies In The Transition To Democracy

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel Mejía

    ()

  • Carlos Esteban Posada

    ()

Abstract

This paper develops a political economy model that provides an explanation as for why ruling elites in oligarquic societies may rely on income redistribution to the poor (the masses) in order to prevent them from attempting a revolution. We refer to this kind of redistribution as populist redistribution because, first it does not increase the poor’s productive capacity (human capital), and second it seeks to “buy” political support (peace) to perpetuate the elite’s control of political power. We examine the conditions under which ruling elites choose to deter the poor (by means of military repression and/or populist redistribution), to engage in a dispute with the poor for the control of political power, or, alternatively, to extend democracy. According to the results of the model populist redistribution (or military repression), if any, increases with initial wealth inequality and with the amount of redistribution that the poor can undertake under democracy, and decreases with the relative importance of a human capital externality in production. The model explains why in some cases the use of an apparently ine cient policy of populist redistribution turns out to be optimal for both groups (the ruling elite and the poor class) when the alternative is to use of military repression or default to conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Mejía & Carlos Esteban Posada, 2005. "Populist Policies In The Transition To Democracy," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003357, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000094:003357
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.banrep.gov.co/docum/ftp/borra349.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1993. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1184-1198, December.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:95:y:2001:i:02:p:297-313_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Campante, Filipe R. & Ferreira, Francisco H.G., 2007. "Inefficient lobbying, populism and oligarchy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 993-1021, June.
    4. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-1288, December.
    5. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why are Stabilizations Delayed," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275509, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
    7. Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1989. "Macroeconomic Populism in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 2986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pedro Dal Bó, 2011. "Workers, Warriors, And Criminals: Social Conflict In General Equilibrium," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 646-677, August.
    9. Engerman, Stanley L. & Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 2005. "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 891-921, December.
    10. Miguel Urrutia, 1991. "On the Absence of Economic Populism in Colombia," NBER Chapters,in: The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America, pages 369-391 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    12. Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1991. "The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dorn91-1.
    13. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    14. Gershenson, Dmitriy, 2002. "Sanctions and Civil Conflict," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(274), pages 185-206, May.
    15. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    16. Daron Acemoglu, 2008. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, March.
    17. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
    18. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1996. "Predation and Accumulation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 333-350, September.
    19. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
    20. Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1991. "Introduction to "The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America"," NBER Chapters,in: The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-134, May.
    22. Ian Morris, 2004. "Economic Growth in Ancient Greece," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 709-709, December.
    23. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, October.
    24. Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Inequality, democracy and the protection of property rights," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 252-269, January.
    25. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1989. "Social Conflict and Populist Policies in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 2897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "The Form of Property Rights: Oligarchic vs. Democratic Societies," NBER Working Papers 10037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Francisco H.G. Ferreira, 2001. "Education for the masses? The interaction between wealth, educational and political inequalities," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 9(2), pages 533-552, July.
    28. Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 2003. "Educational Policy: Egalitarian or Elitist?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 225-246, November.
    29. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Oded, Galor, 2011. "Inequality, Human Capital Formation, and the Process of Development," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    2. Thaize Challier, M.-Christine, 2010. "Socio-political conflict, social distance, and rent extraction in historical perspective," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-67, March.
    3. Oded Galor, 2009. "Inequality and Economic Development: An Overview," Working Papers 2009-3, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    4. Campante, Filipe R. & Ferreira, Francisco H.G., 2007. "Inefficient lobbying, populism and oligarchy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 993-1021, June.
    5. N. Chesterley & P. Roberti, 2016. "Populism and Institutional Capture," Working Papers wp1086, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Begovic, Boris & Paunovic, Marko, 2011. "Political support for enterprise restructuring and voting in Serbia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 171-180, March.
    7. Jennings, Colin, 2011. "The good, the bad and the populist: A model of political agency with emotional voters," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 611-624.
    8. Leon, Gabriel, 2014. "Strategic redistribution: The political economy of populism in Latin America," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 39-51.
    9. Savoia, Antonio & Easaw, Joshy & McKay, Andrew, 2010. "Inequality, Democracy, and Institutions: A Critical Review of Recent Research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 142-154, February.
    10. Zuleta, Hernando & Villaveces, Marta Juanita & Andonova, Veneta, 2013. "Conflict and negotiation in Colombia: Are pre-donations useful?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 105-117.
    11. repec:eee:poleco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    populism;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:col:000094:003357. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Clorith Angélica Bahos Olivera). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.