HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy


I distinguish between political and economic populism. Both are averse to agencies of restraint, or, equivalently, delegation to technocrats or external rules. In the economic domain, delegation to independent agencies (domestic or foreign) occurs in two different contexts: (a) in order to prevent the majority from harming itself in the future; and (b) in order to cement a redistribution arising from a temporary political advantage for the longer-term. Economic policy restraints that arise in the first case are desirable; those that arise in the second case are much less so.


Rodrik, Dani. "Is Populism Necessarily Bad Economics?" AEA Papers and Proceedings 108 (May 2018): 196-199.