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

22 September 2012
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: E31, E65, N16, O23, O54

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.

Series title: Working Paper 169
1 March 2010
Journal: Econ Gov (2012);
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