Along with the late Rudi Dornbusch, the Chilean economist Sebastian Edwards produced seminal work on the economics of populism starting in the late 1980s and has continued to study the topic for decades.I cited the work of Edwards and Dornbusch in a recent FT column and then asked Edwards to join me for an episode of Alphachat.For those of you who don’t listen to podcasts, the full transcript is below, lightly edited for clarity and length. Or just click here to open a pdf version if you prefer that format. Enjoy the chat.Cardiff Garcia How did you first start becoming interested in the economics of populism?Sebastian Edwards Well, anyone that was born in Latin America and is interested in economics unavoidably ends up, sooner or later – sooner, in general – worrying about populism.The early work started when Alan Garcia took over the presidency of Peru for the first time. There was Alan Garcia I and Alan Garcia II. [Garcia was first president of Peru from 1985 to 1990, and then again from 2006 to 2011.]And Rudi Dornbusch and I were absolutely fascinated by the disregard that Garcia had for anything that resembled good economic policy, and how he just wrecked Peru. And we said, well, this is one more manifestation of a more general phenomenon that comes back again and again and again in Latin America. And we decided then to write our first paper, an article.
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Along with the late Rudi Dornbusch, the Chilean economist Sebastian Edwards produced seminal...