Costing Populist Policies

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In many countries were populism has taken hold, focus on quicker yet ultimately unsustainable policy shortcuts gave rise to canonical populism that has led to policy failure and crises. This note analyzes three policy cases in the Philippines which appear to reflect populist tendencies, defined simply by its redistributive yet potentially unsustainable characteristics. It aims to reveal not simply the cost of these policies, but also the need to think of structural and institutional reforms that address the root causes of the risks and challenges. Ultimately, populism appears to be trumped by evidence on policies that actually work more effectively.