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

  • Manoel Bittencourt

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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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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  6. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "A simple panel unit root test in the presence of cross-section dependence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 265-312.
  7. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  8. Manoel BITTENCOURT, 2009. "Macroeconomic Performance And Inequality: Brazil, 1983-94," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 47(1), pages 30-52.
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  11. 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. Francisco José Veiga, 2000. "Delays of Inflation Stabilizations," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 275-295, November.
  17. 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.
  18. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
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