Political Mandate and Clarity of Responsibility: Economic Policies under Rightist Governments in Latin America

  • Biglaiser G
  • McGauvran R
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Abstract

Since the mid-1990s, some rightist governments in Latin America have adhered to a strict market orientation while others have shown less attachment to doctrinaire neoliberal policies, a puzzle as rightists are expected to favor minimal government intervention in the economy. In an environment over the past two decades in which market-oriented policies, in general, have grown increasingly unpopular with many Latin Americans, we contend that rightists have less political cover to endorse neoliberal policies. Using panel data for eighteen Latin American countries from 1995 to 2015, we find that, because of the clarity of responsibility that occurs under political mandates and the unpopularity of market reforms, mandate-holding rightist governments will tend to go against their ideological preferences and decrease neoliberal policies. Our findings indicate that as presidential vote margins increase and responsibility for unpopular economic policies becomes clearer, rightist executives will be less willing to support such policies, but only to a point. The results suggest that clarity of responsibility can influence presidential decision-making concerning unpopular policies, especially microeconomic policies, but this influence diminishes as presidents become more electorally secure. (English)

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APA

Biglaiser, G., & McGauvran, R. J. (2018). Political Mandate and Clarity of Responsibility: Economic Policies under Rightist Governments in Latin America. Latin American Research Review, 53(2), 250. https://doi.org/10.25222/larr.327

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