DP14433 The Political Economy of Populism

Author(s): Sergei Guriev, Elias Papaioannou
Publication Date: February 2020
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14433

We synthesize the literature on the recent rise of populism. First, we go over definitional aspects and present descriptive evidence on the increased support for populists in the past decades. Second, we discuss the role of secular economic factors related to the growth in cross-border trade and automation. Third, we review studies analyzing the role of the recent crisis, connect them to historical work looking at the Great Depression, and discuss likely mechanisms. Fourth, we discuss studies investigating non-economic determinants of populism, identity politics and cultural backlash. Fifth, we go over studies on the role of online media. Sixth, we go over works on the role of immigration and the refugee crisis that entail both economic and cultural consequences. Seventh, we discuss preliminary evidence on the implications of the recent rise of populism. We conclude outlining the scope for further theoretical and empirical research.