The Economic Analysis of Populism. A Selective Review of the Literature
Por Emilio Ocampo
Serie Documentos de Trabajo. Mayo de 2019.
Although theapplication of the conceptual and analytical frameworkof economics to the studyof populismis still in its infancy, great advanceshavebeen made in recent years. Thispaper reviews some keycontributions behind this progress.When analyzingpopulism,economists face two methodological hurdles: lack of consensus and clarity about its definitionand reconciling the populist vote with voter rationality. Theformer has plagued sociologists and political scientistsfor decades. As to the latter, it raises a conundrum: if populist policies aredetrimental to economic growth, as most economists agree, the vote for a populist candidate suggests someirrationalityor inefficiencyin the political markets. The works reviewed in this paperproposealternative approaches to addressboth issues. The most promising line of researchin the economic analysisof populismdrawsconcepts from other social sciences such political theory, sociology, history and social psychology.