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

  • Manoel Bittencourt

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)

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.

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File URL: http://www.up.ac.za/media/shared/61/WP/wp_2009_21.zp39399.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Pretoria, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200921.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:200921
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Web page: http://www.up.ac.za/economics

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  1. 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.
  2. International Monetary Fund, 2005. "Latin American Central Bank Reform; Progress and Challenges," IMF Working Papers 05/114, International Monetary Fund.
  3. 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.
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  11. Anoop Singh & Martin D. Cerisola, 2006. "Sustaining Latin America's Resurgence; Some Historical Perspectives," IMF Working Papers 06/252, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Desai, Raj M. & Olofsgard, Anders & Yousef, Tarik M., 2005. "Inflation and inequality: does political structure matter?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 41-46, April.
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  14. Aisen, Ari & Veiga, Francisco Jose, 2006. "Does Political Instability Lead to Higher Inflation? A Panel Data Analysis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1379-1389, August.
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  16. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Edwards, Sebastian, 1990. "Macroeconomic populism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 247-277, April.
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