The Wild Bunch – ny forskning i populisme

En ny, interessant artikel, der er på vej ud i Economics of Governance (gated version her), tager fat på spørgsmålet om populistiske politikere egentlig er så skadelige. Forfatterne, Julio Revuelta (Universidad de Cantabria) og punditokraternes ven Martin Rode (Universidad de Navarra), svare bekræftende på spørgsmålet. Ved at sammenligne statslederes grad af populisme, målt ved et tekstbaseret indeks udviklet af Kirk Hawkins, med efterfølgende ændringer i økonomisk frihed kan Rode og Revuelta vise, at særligt retslig kvalitet og reguleringsfrihed svækkes betragteligt når et land får en populistisk leder. Så skal man være bekymret for Syriza i Grækenland, Podemos i Spanien og forskellige andre udpræget populistiske partier? Svaret synes at være ja. Papirets abstractet er her:

The debate on populism has recently been revitalized by the rise of new political actors, especially in Latin America and Europe. Despite the renewed interest, the concept of populism remains vague, complicating any empirical investigation on its political and economic outcomes. Still, all populist politicians strongly emphasize the defense of the commonman’s interest against those of privileged elites, suggesting that such governments will have notable implications for economic policy and institutions. Using a non-partisan indicator of populism, this paper seeks to assess the impact of populist policies on institutional change, as measured by the economic freedom of the world index. Results indicate that populist governments actively reduce economic freedom. In particular, they erode legal security, reduce freedom to trade, and tighten economic regulation. Findings expand on previous research with empirical methodology, questioning the importance of ideological orientation in some definitions of populism.

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