Depending on the definition, in the last ten years the European populists’ vote share in general elections increased by about 10-15 percentage points. Today, the number of large countries with populists in government is higher than ever in history.

There are two reasons to be concerned about the populists’ popularity. One is that their promises are not macroeconomically sustainable (as in Latin America in the past or in Turkey today). Most populists, however, have learned this lesson and once in power, recognise the macroeconomic constraints. The second reason is much more important - modern populists promise and, once in power, implement policies that (i) destroy economic and political checks and balances and (ii) create barriers for economic and political competition.

The evidence-based policy advice on why the recent rise of populism took place and how to counter it is still quite scarce. The main objective of this RPN is to bridge the gap between research and specific practical solutions.

In addition, the RPN will maintain the VoxEU Populism page as a forum for the wider debate.


The Populism RPN hosts several events, including an annual meeting which is jointly organised with the Political Economy programme area’s annual symposium.

The RPN also co-organises the monthly POLECON Webinar Series with the Political Economy Programme and Preventing Conflict: Policies for Peace RPN.


Yann Algan

Professor of Economics Paris School Of Economics; Professor of Economics University of Paris-Est

Tito Boeri

Centennial Professor London School of Economics and Political Sciences

RPN Member, Populism

David Dorn

Chair of International Trade and Labor Markets Universitat Zurich; UBS Foundation Professor of Globalization and Labor Markets

Christian Dustmann

Director Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration; Professor of Economics University College London

Barry Eichengreen

Senior Policy Advisor International Monetary Fund; Professor of Economics and Political Science University Of California, Berkeley

Anna Mayda

Associate Professor of Economics Georgetown University

Anna Mayda

Research Affiliate Centre for Economic Policy Research; Associate Professor of Economics Georgetown University

Massimo Morelli

Professor of Political Science and Economics Universita' Luigi Bocconi

Torsten Persson

Swedish Research Council Distinguished Professor, Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) Swedish Institute for Social Research

Maria Petrova

Affiliate Professor ICREA Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Alfa-Bank Associate Professor of Economics New Economic School; ICREA Research Professor Pompeu Fabra University

Dani Rodrik

Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy Harvard University

Konstantin Sonin

John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor, Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies University Of Chicago

Antonio Spilimbergo

Research Fellow Centre for Economic Policy Research; Deputy Director, IMF Research Department International Monetary Fund

Mathias Thoenig

Research Fellow Centre for Economic Policy Research; Professor of Economics HEC-Lausanne (University of Lausanne)

Christoph Trebesch

Professor of Economics Kiel Institute for World Economics; Professor of Economics Kiel University

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Research Fellow Centre for Economic Policy Research; Professor of Economics Paris School Of Economics