Research Seminar: Massimo Morelli (Università Bocconi)

Title: "A Commitment Theory of Populism" (with A. Nicolo’ and P. Roberti)

  • Date: 19 October 2021 from 12:00 to 13:15

  • Event location: Seminar Room, Piazza Scaravilli 2 + Microsoft Teams


A reduced trust in the reliability of politicians is responsible for the demand of simple policies that are easy to monitor for voters. Disenchanted citizens prefer politicians who stick with their easy to check promises (committed delegates) to politicians who propose themselves as competent policy makers but without a specific policy commitment (trustees). In a two-party competition, an asymmetric equilibrium may exist where voters with lower interest for the common good select a committed delegate, while those with higher interest for the common good appoint a trustee. In this asymmetric equilibrium, we show that the committed candidate chooses also all the other strategies that are typically connected to populism in the literature. Hence, this paper can be considered a commitment theory of populism.

Invited by: Research Seminar Team

Local Organizer: Massimiliano G. Onorato