Documento de Trabajo, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas 04/08
Populist experiments are recurrent in Latin America. One of the most conspicuous cases is that of Bolivia in the 21th century under the government of Evo Morales and his Movement to Socialism (MAS). A major distinctive feature of this populism is the incorporation of the ethnic and linguistic demands of the large indigenous population. The populism of this century, in common with previous experiences, prioritizes the redistribution of income and wealth, based on the central role of the state and nationalism. Economic policies are aimed at short-term political gains and ignoring long term consequences. However, the aggression to markets, very clear in the policy of nationalizations, has been more important than fiscal and monetary expansion. Also, because of the benign international environment, the MAS government has not had to face fiscal or balance of payments constraints.