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Polarisation, Populism and Hyperinflation[s]: Some Evidence from Latin America

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  • Manoel Bittencourt

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)

Abstract

We test for the populist view of state capture in Latin America be- tween 1970 and 2003. The empirical results-based on the relatively novel panel time-series data and analysis - confirm the prediction that recently-elected governments coming into power after periods of po- litical dictatorship, and which are faced with high economic inequal- ity and demand for redistribution, end up pursuing unfunded populist [re] distributive policies. These policies, in turn, lead to bursts of hyper- in?ation and therefore macroeconomic instability in the region. All in all, we suggest that the implementation of democracy as such requires not only the 'right political context'- or a 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Manoel Bittencourt, 2009. "Polarisation, Populism and Hyperinflation[s]: Some Evidence from Latin America," Working Papers 200921, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:200921
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Polarisation; populism; hyperinflation; Latin America;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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