Have Latin Americans Really Swung to the Left?

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Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
The 1990s saw a shift to the left in Latin American politics. However, there no studies comprehensively analyze political ideology and its determinants in Latin America during and after this period. Using survey data from 1996-2010, this paper makes two contributions. First, it finds that political ideology is determined by subjective perceptions on the state of the economy and society. Second, it finds that the probability of being more leftist has not significantly increased. Two theories that argue that political outcomes do not necessarily reflect the political ideology of the median voter are reviewed to explain the findings.
Left-wing swings, Political ideology, Cross-country, Democracy, Populism, Panel data analysis, Latin America