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Demand and Supply of Populism

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  • L. Guiso
  • H. Herrera
  • M. Morelli
  • T. Sonno

Abstract

We define as populist a party that champions short-term protection policies while hiding their long-term costs by using anti-elite rhetoric to manipulate beliefs. We provide a framework that rationalizes this definition and generates sharp implications for people support to populist platforms (the demand side), for the timing of appear ance of populist parties and their chosen orientation (the supply side) as well as for non-populist parties response to populist success (an equilibrium market reaction). Using individual data on voting in European countries we document that key fea tures of the demand for populism as well as the supply heavily depend on turnout incentives, previously neglected in the populism literature. Once turnout effects are properly taken into account, economic insecurity drives consensus to populist policies directly as well as through indirect negative effects on trust and attitudes towards migrants. On the supply side, populist parties are more likely to emerge and prosper when countries deal with systemic economic insecurity crisis that both left-oriented incumbent parties (relying on government-based policies) and right-oriented (relying on markets) find hard to address, disappointing voters who lose faith in them and abstain. Relative entry space determines the orientation choice of populist parties, i.e., whether they enter on left or right of the political spectrum. The typical non-populist party policy response is to reduce the distance of their platform from that of new populist entrants, thereby magnifying the aggregate supply of populist policies. Keywords: voter participation, short term protection, anti-elite rhetoric, populist entry.

Suggested Citation

  • L. Guiso & H. Herrera & M. Morelli & T. Sonno, 2017. "Demand and Supply of Populism," Working Papers 610, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:610
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    Cited by:

    1. Aggeborn, Linuz & Persson, Lovisa, 2017. "Public Finance and Right-Wing Populism," Working Paper Series 1182, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. Jonas A. Gunnarsson & Gylfi Zoega, 2017. "East Versus West on the European Populism Scale," CESifo Working Paper Series 6663, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2018. "Beyond the Central Bank Independence Veil: New Evidence," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1871, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    4. Alessandro Borin & Elisa Macchi & Michele Mancini, 2018. "Eu transfers and euroscepticism: can’t buy me love?," ECON - Working Papers 289, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Barbara Dluhosch, 2018. "Trade, Inequality, and Subjective Well-Being: Getting at the Roots of the Backlash Against Globalization," LIS Working papers 741, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    6. Raicho Bojilov & Jonas A. Gunnarsson & Gylfi Zoega, 2017. "East versus West on the European Populism Scale," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1707, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    7. Lechler, Marie, 2018. "Employment Shocks and anti-EU Sentiment," Discussion Papers in Economics 49414, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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