Latin America

Latin America using economic populism to face Covid-19

Faced with a generational crisis, many Latin American governments are resorting to short-term measures that could create massive long-term crises

economic populism covid
Chilean man protests against inequality. Photo: Erlucho/Shutterstock

An allegory of Latin America, Gabriel García Marquez’s definitive novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” discusses the inevitable and inescapable repetition of history in the fictitious village of Macondo. Such an irregular and dramatic loop can also be seen in real life Latin America, particularly in its economic history. As authors Rudiger Dornbusch and Sebastian Edwards once pointed out, there is a striking sense of circularity when it comes to the use — by both the left and right — of populist macroeconomic principles for distributive purposes.

We could be witnessing the start of another such cycle, as countries...

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