Book Discussion

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Populism Leaves Latin America Behind

Left Behind


One of the most compelling books written in recent years about Latin America is Sebastián Edwards’s Left Behind: Latin America and the False Promise of Populism. Here he discusses the thesis of the book. Main point: populism fails in the long term to generate efficiency, growth, and investment; and effective institutions matter.  What’s wrong with populism? Edwards: “Everything.  About 20 years ago, the late Rudi Dornbusch and I defined it as a set of policies that aim at obtaining short-term gain and neglecting long-term sustainability. Populist experiences invariably end in inflation, shortages and crisis.” He compares the Venezuelan experience with other countries in the region.



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