The Populist Economic Policy Paradigm: Early Peronism as an Archetype

Emilio Ocampo

Por Emilio Ocampo

Serie de Documentos de Trabajo. Junio de 2020.

Before Hugo Chavez burst into the political scene in Venezuela, Argentina’s Juan Peron (1895- 1974) was considered the quintessential Latin American populist leader. He ruled Argentina from mid 1943 until September 1955 and between 1973 and 1974 and his political party has been in power two thirds of the time since the reestablishment of democracy in 1983. Perón’s economic policies between 1946 and 1949 are also considered archetypical. The Peronist economic policy paradigm (PEPP) emphasized income redistribution and a fiscally induced expansion of aggregate demand at the expense of productivity and allocative efficiency. Although the ideological roots of Peronism can be directly traced back to Fascism, when it came to his economic policies, Perón claimed to have been inspired by FDR’s New Deal and Keynes’s General Theory. However, in mosts respects, in their early stage, Peronist economic policies resemble more those proposed by Sir Oswald Mosley (1896-1980) in 1930. This paper describes the PEPP, its implementation and results and evaluates several hypothesis regarding its intellectual roots.

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