What is populism? An institutional economics approach with reference to Hungary

Ádám, Zoltán (2018) What is populism? An institutional economics approach with reference to Hungary. In: Varieties of Transition. Papers presented at The Second International Economic Forum on Reform, Transition and Growth. Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, pp. 83-98. . ISBN 9789638887931

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader


This paper conceptualizes populism in an institutional economics context. Examining the literature on populism in political science, it subscribes to the view that populism is a degraded form of democracy that holds elections in regular intervals as rituals of popular legitimation, but undermines pluralism and diminishes effective political choice. Based on the theory of transaction cost economics, the paper argues that populism is a form of government that reduces political uncertainties inherently present in liberal democracies, and hence mitigates political transaction costs. At times of crises and a mismatch between formal and informal institutions conditioning political exchange, demand for such a restricted form of democracy rises. This is what happened in Hungary towards the end of the 2000s, in a period characterized by fiscal stabilization and the socially costly impact of the global financial crisis.

Item Type:Book Section
JEL classification:P10 - Capitalist Systems: General
P16 - Capitalist Institutions; Welfare State
P48 - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
P51 - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
Divisions:Faculty of Economics > Department of Comparative and Institutional Economics
Subjects:Economic policy
ID Code:3744
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:05 Nov 2018 15:44
Last Modified:05 Nov 2018 15:45

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics