Crony capitalism

This page in:

I was saving for later, but Greg Mankiw beat me to it. Gary Becker on the left's resurgence in Latin America:

One legitimate reason for the opposition to capitalism in Latin America is that it frequently has been "crony capitalism" as opposed to the competitive capitalism that produces desirable social outcomes. Crony capitalism is a system where companies with close connections to the government gain economic power not by competing better, but by using the government to get favored and protected positions. These favors include monopolies over telecommunications, exclusive licenses to import different goods, and other sizeable economic advantages. Some cronyism is found in all countries, but Mexico and other Latin countries have often taken the influence of political connections to extremes.

Richard Posner responds. See also the very good reader comments. A second round of responses from Becker-Posner should come by the end of the weak.

Also of interest: Latin America's Left Turn, in Foreign Affairs; Latin America's New Consensus, in The Nation; The Return of Populism, in the Economist. I agree that this is more about deep social frustrations and innovative populism, than a 'return to the left.'

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000