Events at CERGE-EI

Thursday, 31 January, 2019 | 13:00 | Macro Research Seminar

Prof. Ľuboš Pástor (Chicago Booth) “Inequality Aversion, Populism, and the Backlash Against Globalization”

Prof. Ľuboš Pástor

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, USA

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Authors: Ľuboš Pástor and Pietro Veronesi

Abstract: Motivated by the recent rise of populism in western democracies, we develop a model in which a populist backlash emerges endogenously in a growing economy. In the model, voters dislike inequality, especially the high consumption of "elites." Economic growth exacerbates inequality due to heterogeneity in risk aversion. In response to rising inequality, rich-country voters optimally elect a populist promising to end globalization. Countries with more inequality, higher financial development, and current account deficits are more vulnerable to populism, both in the model and in the data. Evidence on who voted for Brexit and Trump in 2016 also supports the model.

Keywords: inequality, populism, globalization, risk aversion, Brexit, Trump

JEL Classification: G11, G12, G18, D72, F65, P16
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Full Text:  “Inequality Aversion, Populism, and the Backlash Against Globalization”