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Are dictatorships necessary?: Trade unions and neoliberal populism in tour Latin American Countries

Publication Date
DOI:  10.3989/ris.2008.06.05
  • Economics
  • Political Science


The economic crisis of the beginning of this century in Latin America has questioned that a neo-liberal kind of populism may solve the puzzle of how to implement pro-market economic reforms by democratic regimes in less developed countries. Populism is both prone to corruption and incompatible with the necessary institutional reforms (the “second generation” reforms) complementing the economic reforms. Non-populist politicians may not have this handicap, but they could not overcome the labor resistance to their pro-market reforms either. Still, under certain conditions, democratic politicians can implement these reforms without suffering from the costs of populism.

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