There seems to be general agreement that “populism“ has been on the rise over the past decade, and that it has implications for election outcomes and economic policies. There is the notion that populist economic policies oriented towards short-term gains at the cost of long-term structural growth favor pressure groups at the cost of minorities and other groups less relevant for electoral outcomes, and do generally not attach great importance to economic facts and analysis. This conference first asks what “populist economic policies“ are. Are they actually a new phenomenon? Are they confined to specific political camps? How would they be classified in more conventional economic categories? Once more clarity on the definition has been achieved, second, the question is asked about causalities: Have past economic developments (fiscal consolidation, reform fatigue, economic inequality, financial crisis, unemployment) led to public discontent and thus encouraged or even forced “populist“ policies; or do populist narratives merely serve as justification for the policies taken against mainstream economists‘ advice?
in cooperation with SUERF and thanks to Intesa Sanpaolo