Neoliberalism, populist movements and the Pink Tide in Latin America

Street Demonstration, Porto Alegre, Brazil, World Social Forum 2005

Christopher Chase-Dunn, Matheu Kaneshiro, James Love,

Kirk Lawrence and Edwin Elias

Department of Sociology and the Research Working Group on Transnational Social Movements at the Institute for Research on World-Systems (IROWS)

University of California-Riverside

Preliminary Draft v. 4-21/10 6376 words

To be presented at the Interdisciplinary Conference on "Crises and Opportunities in Latin America" at the University of California-Riverside, April 23, 2010. Thanks to Wesley Longhofer for help with this study.

This is IROWS Working Paper #58 available at

Abstract: This paper is part of a larger research project that is examining the nature of the New Global Left in the present period of renewed world revolution. Our earlier research has studied the network of transnational social movements that are participating in the World Social Forum process and the relationships between the family of antisystemic transnational movements and the progressive populist regimes that have emerged in Latin America in the last decade – the so-called Pink Tide. This paper examines the hypothesis that the Pink Tide regimes have emerged in reaction to neoliberal Structural Adjustment Programs that were imposed on Latin American countries in the 1980s and 1990s.


We conceive of global governance as an evolutionary process in which the institutions and structures of hegemony provoke counter-hegemonic responses within countries and in the Global South, and these responses are taken into account by the lords of globalization as they fine-tune their efforts to reproduce global inequalities with themselves at the top.

            This paper examines the hypothesis that it was popular reactions to the stringent neoliberal Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) imposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the 1980s and 1990s that led to the emergence of populist regimes in Latin America.  We use World Bank data on the timing and nature of Structural Adjustment Progams to see how these programs may have led to the progressive populist regimes that have emerged in Latin America in the last few decades. We also consider how SAPs evolved over time and how the architects of neoliberal policies may have adapted to the popular reactions that their early policies produced. We develop a typology of Leftist regimes in the Global South and we examine particular cases in Latin America to see how the reactions to the SAPS played out in particular cases. We discuss how local social movements in the “planet of slums” have linked up with activists in other countries and have participated in the Social Forum process. And we discuss the contentious relationship between the social movements and the populist regimes. We also compare what has happened in Latin America with other countries in the Global South to see if the Latin American version of “Twenty-first century socialism” might have legs in Asia and Africa. 

            The evolution of the modern world-system --its processes of economic development, the rise and fall of hegemonic core powers, and the waves of globalization and deglobalization -- has been shaped by a series of world revolutions (congeries of local, national and transnational struggles and rebellions that clump together in time) since the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century (Arrighi, Hopkins and Wallerstein 1989; Boswell and Chase-Dunn 2000; Chase-Dunn and Niemeyer 2008). The contemporary world revolution is similar to earlier ones, but also different. The research reported in this paper is part of an effort to comprehend the nature of the New Global Left in its world historical context.

            Our conceptualization of the New Global Left includes both civil society entities: individuals, social movement organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but also political parties and progressive national regimes. In this paper we will discuss the relationships among the movements and the progressive populist regimes that have emerged in Latin America in the last decade. We understand these regimes to be an important part of the New Global Left, though it is well-known that the relationships among the movements and the regimes are both supportive and contentious.

            The boundaries of the progressive forces that have come together in the New Global Left are fuzzy and the process of inclusion and exclusion is ongoing. The rules of inclusion and exclusion that are contained in the Charter of the World Social Forum, though still debated, have not changed much since their formulation in 2001. [1]

            The New Global Left has emerged as resistance to, and a critique of, global capitalism. It is a coalition of social movements that includes old social movements that emerged in the 19th century (labor, anarchism, socialism, communism, feminism, environmentalism, peace, human rights) along with more recent incarnations of these and movements that emerged in the world revolutions of 1968 and 1989 (queer rights, anti-corporate, fair trade, indigenous) and even more recent ones such as the slow food-food rights, global justice-alterglobalization, anti-globalization, health-HIV and alternative media). The explicit focus on the Global South and global justice is somewhat similar to some earlier incarnations of the Global Left, especially the Comintern, the Bandung Conference and the anti-colonial movements. The New Global Left contains remnants and reconfigured elements of earlier Global Lefts, but it is a qualitatively different constellation of forces because:

o      there are new elements,

o      the old movements have been reshaped, and

o      a new technology (the Internet) has been used to try to resolve North/South issues within movements and contradictions among movements.

There has also been a learning process in which the earlier successes and failures of the Global Left are being taken into account in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past. The relations within the family of antisystemic movements and among the populist regimes are both cooperative and competitive. This needs to be brought out into the open in order that the cooperative efforts may be enhanced so that global collective action for restructuring the world-system may be more effective. Our studies are dedicated to this end.

The Pink Tide

            The World Social Forum (WSF) is not the only political force that demonstrates the rise of the New Global Left. The WSF is embedded within a larger socio-historical context that is challenging the hegemony of global capital. It was this larger context that facilitated the founding of the WSF in 2001. The anti-IMF protests of the 1980s and the Zapatista rebellion of 1994 were early harbingers of the current world revolution that challenges the neoliberal capitalist order.

            World history has proceeded in a series of waves. Capitalist expansions have ebbed and flowed, and egalitarian and humanistic counter-movements have emerged in a cyclical dialectical struggle. Polanyi(1944) called this the double-movement, while others have termed it a “spiral of capitalism and socialism.” This spiral of capitalism and socialism describes the undulations of the global economy that has alternated between expansive commodification throughout the global economy, followed by resistance movements on behalf of workers and other oppressed groups (Boswell and Chase-Dunn 2000). The Reagan/Thatcher neoliberal capitalist globalization project extended the power of transnational capital. This project has reached its ideological and material limits. It has increased inequality within some countries, exacerbated rapid urbanization in the Global South (so-called Planet of Slums), attacked the welfare state and institutional protections for the poor, and led to global financial collapse. The globalization project was crisis management because of overaccumulation in core manufacturing and a declining profit rate in the 1970s and 1980s. Perceived limitations to the further expansion of financialization led certain neoconservative elements of the global elite to support “imperial over-reach,” an effort to use military power to control the global oil supply as a means of propping up declining U.S. economic hegemony and perpetuating the rule of global finance capital. The economic meltdown of 2008 may have begun the demise of the current phase of capitalist expansion and both the neoliberal and the neoconservative political projects.

            A global countermovement has arisen to challenge neoliberalism and neoconservatism and  decades of capitalist expansion. This progressive countermovement is composed of increasingly transnational social movements and a growing number of populist governments in Latin America – the so-called Pink Tide. The Pink Tide is composed of populist leftist regimes that have come to state power in Latin America, seeking dramatic structural transformation of the global economy (See Table 1).



Pink Tide





Kirchners - started under Nestor and continuing under his wife Kristina.


 the original leftist (strong-arm) leader was in power in 1946.




Prime Minister is center-left, "social democratic" but not really pink tide




Morales, first indigenous president




Lula: Worker's Party




Lagos, followed by Bachelet Jeria of the socialist party





Costa Rica







The Castros

Dominican Republic







Began under Gutierrez, who was ousted in 2005

 (partially due to his support of the FTAA). Correa continued the

pink tide in his 2006 election.

El Salvador



Funes, FMLN - the former Marxist guerrillas!




Colom won the presidential elections of 07 as a center-left politician,

replacing free tradists. He seems to be advocating indigenous rights.




Part of Wash. Consensus - Jagan




Aristide (broke from OPL and founded Fanmi Lavalas) was opposed to

the W.C., but was outsed in 2004.




Zelaya was elected in 2005, and made a turn to the left in 2007.

He was ousted in 2009.








Felipe Calderón (PAN)




Ortega. He was also in power from 1985 to 1990 with the Sandinistas.

 The Sandinistas were in power from 1979 to 1990.




Ricardo Martinelli








Alan Garcia









Table 1: Pink Tide Regimes 0= not Pink Tide; 1= Partial Pink Tide, 2= Full-Blown Pink Tide

An important difference between these and many earlier Leftist regimes in the non-core is that they have come to head up governments by means of popular elections rather than by violent revolutions. This signifies an important difference from earlier world revolutions. The spread of electoral democracy to the non-core has been part of a larger political incorporation of former colonies into the European interstate system. This evolutionary development of the global political system has mainly been caused by the industrialization of the non-core and the growing size of the urban working class in non-core countries (Silver 2003). While much of the democratization of the Global South has taken the form of “polyarchy” in which elites play musical chairs (Robinson 1996), in some countries the Pink Tide Leftist regimes have been voted into power. This is a very different form of regime formation than the road taken by most earlier Leftist regimes in the non-core. Most earlier leftist regimes have come to control the state by means of civil war or military coup.

            The ideologies of the Pink Tide regimes have been both socialist and indigenist, with different mixes in different countries. The acknowledged leader of the Pink Tide as a distinctive brand of leftist populism is the Bolivarian Revolution led by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. But various other forms of progressive political ideologies are also heading up states in Latin America. Indigenist and socialist Evo Morales is president of Bolivia.The Fidelistas in Cuba remain in power. President Lula and the Brazilian Workers Party are still important players. In Chile social democrats are in power. Sandinistas in Nicaragua and FMLN in El Salvador are elected leaders. And several European-style social democrats lead some of the Caribbean islands. These regimes are supported by the mobilization of historically subordinate populations including the indigenous, poor, and women. The rise of the voiceless and the challenge to neoliberal capitalism seems to have its epicenter in Latin America. While there are important differences of emphasis among these regimes, they have much in common, and as a whole they constitute an important bloc of the New Global Left. We agree with William I. Robinson’s assessment of the Bolivarian Revolution and its potential to lead the global working class in a renewed challenge to transnational capitalism (Robinson 2008).

            Latin America has a unique and complex history in which class and ethnic struggles within countries have repeatedly intersected with the world historical context. The conquest of the Americas featured the decimation of indigenous populations and their enserfment in systems of agricultural land-tenure and the expansion of a slave-based plantation economy in which a huge number of Africans were forcibly relocated to the New World. This was an important part of what Karl Marx called “the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist accumulation.” It is safe to generalize that the beginnings of the post-Columbian Americas were characterized by the primitive accumulation of native and African populations. In other words, capital has deep roots in the underdevelopment of Latin America, and the legacies of primitive accumulation continue to leave large masses of poor eking out a living. Although each country has had its own unique history, important commonalities that these countries share include indigenous rebellions, slave revolts, anti-colonial struggles for independence, concomitant wars and altercations between authoritarianism and democracy, the commodification of natural resources, competing commercial interests, foreign intervention (often at the behest of core capital), and leftist popular waves.  In other words, Latin America has been a battleground of global and internal class conflict since 1492 (Galeano 1987).

            The development of states in Latin America featured the rise of the rich. Landed elites, national capitalists and military personnel jockeyed for power and attempted to develop their respective countries and to protect existing privileges. With the passage of time, important oppressed segments of the population have continued to struggle for recognition, engaging in waves of politicization. A populist wave surged through Latin America during the 1950s and 1960s, finally representing people as opposed to elites. These mass movements were decisive turns to the left. Another major event in this time period was the Cuban Revolution, allowing for Fidel Castro to set up a centralized socialist economy 90 miles from Florida. Waves of leftist regimes rose (or attempted to rise) throughout Latin America, including El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Guatemala and Colombia, all of which fell prey to U.S.-backed overthrows and were replaced by comprador elites.

            Thus one sees waves of the spread of capitalist domination and the struggle for popular rights throughout the history of many countries in Latin America. Capital seemed to have won, particularly throughout the Reagan years. Then a former military general won the votes of the poor in Venezuela. A team including socialists became elected in Chile. A member of the working party came to power in Brazil. A brave president in Argentina finally stood up against the demands of the International Monetary Fund and Wall Street.

           Figure 1:  Pink Tide (dots= full blown; cross-hatch= partial)

            As one can see from Figure 1, the rise of the left has engulfed nearly all of South America and a considerable portion of Central America. Why is Latin America the site of both populist Leftist regimes and transnational social movements that contest neoliberal capitalist globalization? We suggest that part of the explanation is that Latin America as a world region has so many  semiperipheral countries. These countries have more options to pursue independent strategies than the overwhelmingly peripheral countries of Africa do. But some of the Pink Tide countries in Latin America are also peripheral. There is a regional effect that does not seem to be operating in either Africa or Asia. Another reason why the Pink Tide phenomenon is concentrated in Latin America is that the foremost proponent of the neoliberal policies has been the United States, and Latin America has long been the non-core “back yard” of the United States. Many, if not most, of the people of Latin America think of the United States as the “collossus of the North.” The U.S. has been the titular hegemon during the period of the capitalist globalization project, and so the political challenge to neoliberalism is strongest in that region of the world in which the U.S. has long played the role of neocolonial core. Both Africa and Asia have a more complicated relationship with former colonial powers.

            The outspoken Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has led the way, a task made easier by the massive Venezuelan oil reserves. The Banco del Sur (Bank of the South), for example, has been joined by many Pink Tide nations and seeks to replace the IMF in development projects throughout the Americas. The goal is to be able to become independent of the capitalist financial institutions headquartered in the U.S., which would serve as an “alternative path” for those not desiring to heed to the IMF’s wishes.

            The very existence of the World Social Forum owes much to the Pink Tide regime in Brazil. The Brazilian transition from authoritarian rule in the 1980s politicized and mobilized civil society, contributing to the elections of leftist presidents. One of these presidents includes Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a sociologist who was one of the founders of dependency theory. Porto Alegre had been a stronghold for the Worker’s Party (founded by the future Pink Tide president Luis Lula Ignacio da Silva). It was in Porto Alegre that the World Social Forum was born, with the indispensible help from the Brazilian Worker’s Party. The political trend of the Pink Tide set the context and conditions for the rise of the World Social Forum – the two are inextricably linked. 

            We seek to comprehend the World Social Forum in the context of larger socio-historical processes. The World Social Forum is part of the larger trend that is attempting to counter the global hegemony of capital. The WSF seeks to play a helpful role bringing about greater rights for workers and other oppressed people in both the South and the North. The World Social Forum is an arena for transnational social movements.

            The relationships between the progressive transnational social movements and the regimes of the Pink Tide have been both collaborative and contentious. We have already noted the important role played by the Brazilian Workers Party in the creation of the World Social Forum. But many of the activists in the movements see involvement in struggles to gain and maintain power in existing states as a trap that is likely to simply reproduce the injustices of the past. These kinds of concerns have been raised by anarchists since the nineteenth century, but autonomists from Italy, Spain, Germany and France echo these concerns. And the Zapatista movement in Southern Mexico, one of the sparks that ignited the global justice movement against neoliberal capitalism, has steadfastly refused to participate in Mexican electoral politics. Indeed the New Left led by students in the World Revolution of 1968 championed a similar critical approach to the old parties and states of the Left as well as involvment in electoral politics (Wallerstein 1984). This anti-politics-as-usual has become embodied in the Charter of the World Social Forum, where representatives of parties and governments are theoretically proscribed from sending representatives to the WSF meetings.

            The older Leftist organizations and movements are often depicted as hopelessly Eurocentric and undemocratic by the neo-anarchists and autonomists, who instead prefer participatory and horizontalist network forms of democracy and eschew leadership by prominent intellectuals as well as by existing heads of state. Thus when Lula, Chavez and Morales have come to address the WSF, crowds have gathered to protest their presence.  The organizers of the WSF have found various compromises, such as locating the speeches of Pink Tide politicians at adjacent, but separate, venues.  An exception to this kind of contention is the support that European autonomists and anarchists have provided to Evo Morales’s regime in Bolivia (e.g. Lopez and Iglesias 2006).    

            Latin America has been the epicenter of the countermovement against neoliberal capitalism and the contemporary world revolution. It is a particularly large epicenter, with a considerable amount of resources. The future of the development of global resistant from the Global South may greatly depend on the viability of institutions such as the Bank of the South. If Latin America can bring some of the movements and some of the progressive regimes together, this will be an energizing model for the other regions of the globe. The challenges are daunting but the majority of humankind needs an organizational instrument with which to democratize global governance.

            Longhofer, Schofer and Sowers (2009) have found a relationship between the imposition of SAPS on countries and increases in the amount of income inequalty among households. They.used both the loan amounts and a dummy code for whether the country had a loan or not. They also presented some results at the 2009 American Sociological Association meetings that showed that early SAP loans in Latin America had bigger effects on inequality. The idea was that the early SAPs were more draconian and had bigger effects. 

The Hypothesis

            The following was proposed by Alejandro Portes in a dinner conversation at the American Sociological Association meeting in San Francisco in 2009. The early Structural Adjustment Programs imposed by the International Monetary Fund  in Latin America in the 1980s were instances of “shock therapy” that emboldened domestic neoliberals to attack the “welfare state,” unions and workers parties. In many countries these attacks resulted in downsizing and streamlining of urban industries, and workers in the formal sector lost their jobs and were forced into the informal economy, swelling the “planet of slums.”  This is the formation of the globalized working class described by Bill Robinson (2006). In some countries the informal sector was mobilized by political leaders into populist movements and parties, and in some of these, the movements were eventually successful in electing their leaders to national power, creating the Pink Tide regimes.

In this model neoliberal Structural Adjustment Polices provoked a counter-movement which eventuated in the Pink Tide. It is this story we are trying to test.



LeftistLeader: A president can be coded as “leftist” from a variety of conditions. Presidents that serve as part of socialist or communist parties, or as part of coalitions with the aforementioned parties are among those included as a “leftist” president. Presidents who are members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Alianza Boliviariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra America) also qualify.Classification has also been drawn from existing scholars such as Castaneda (XXXX)  [[[[list more literature]]]].

StructuralLoans/GDP: Loans from the World Bank that included policy reforms as requisites were coded as “structural adjustment loans.” These loans were treated as if they were distributed evenly through the longevity of the loan, dividing the total of the loan into the respective years for which the loan applied. Overlapping loans over a respective year were summed for that year. The total loans for the year were then divided by the GDP for the respective year, and the results were multiplied by 100. This procedure gives a measure of the loan relative to the economy in general. The figures can be interpreted as the size of the loan as a percentage of GDP.

AccumulatedLoans/GDP: The sum of the current year structural loan with all loans acquired previously. This variable can be interpreted as the accumulated amount of loans as percentages of GDP. In other words, if a country has a score of 200 for 2007, it indicates that by 2007 the country had accumulated 2 GDP’s worth of loans.

StructuralLoansDummy: A dummy variable that codes 1 for having had a structural adjustment loan for the respective year, and 0 for not.

AccumulatedLoansDummy: The sum of all structural loans dummy years by a respective year.

GNICapitaLogged: Logged GNI per capita gathered from the World Bank World Development Indicators. 2009 and 2010 are not yet available, so the 2008 figure was applied to both of these years under the assumption that the economic crisis would have prevented growth.

Democratization: Freedom House scores on “freedom” were used as a proxy for democratization. Both the Civil Liberties and Political Rights data were summed to provide our data.

Years: The years for which these data are gathered span from 1980 and 2010, although a handful of countries begin a few years prior to 1980 having received such loans before 1980. As the variable data gathered from the World Bank World Development Indicators (GDP, GNI/capita) end on 2008, we assumed that the 2009 and 2010 figures were identical to 2008, assuming that the economic crisis would prevent growth.



As our dependent variable is dichotomous, the use of a correlation matrix to eyeball relationships will not be very useful in regards to our dependent variable. A correlation matrix will be placed in the appendix for the independent variables. To eyeball the relationships between our independent variables and the dependent variable, we use a series of logistic regressions to attain odds ratios for our variables. Following this, we repeat the process while adding a random intercept in the regression, which controls for correlated data (i.e. the country, more on this below).

To test the hypothesis that structural adjustment loans increase the probability of having a leftist leader using multivariate models, we employ a random-intercept logistic regression analysis. This regression predicted the presence of a leftist leader for a respective year (the dependent variable) as a result of a series of fixed parameters (the independent variables): the structural adjustment loans (measured three different ways), the said loans accumulated (measured two ways), GDPlogged, GNI per capita logged, democratization, and year. Inserting a random effect in the model  “centers” the variables for the respective countries, allowing for cross-country compatibility. This allows us to conduct a multivariate logistic regression across countries and to better control for time, as correlated data are controlled for. We thus employ a generalized linear mixed model with a series of fixed effects and one random effect (country).

            Mathematically, the above model can be written as the following:


            y = dependent variable: leftist leader

            i = year

            j = country

            x1 – 5 = independent variables

β0 = intercept

β1 – 5 = regression line for the respective independent variable

ζ= random intercept for respective country

For all of our models, GNI per capita logged and democratization are included. The differences between the models lie in the way in which structural adjustment loans are measured, as described below.

Model 1: We predict having a leftis leader as a function of the amount of structural loans a country collects for a given year, measured as a percentage of the size of the GDP for the respective year. We also include a variable for the total accumulated loans measured in the same way.

Model 2: We predict the presence of a leftist leader by lagging the structural loans received by five years. That is, we measure to see if the probability of having a leftist leader follows the receipt of structural adjustment loans. The accumulated loans variable is measured the same way.

Model 3: Structural adjustment loan years are coded as a dummy variable, 1 or 0. That is, we do not consider the size of the loan in this model. Rather, we treat all structural adjustment loans as equal, and simply identify whether or not the country received such a loan for that year.The accumulated loan variable similarly sums up the total number of years in which a country has received a structural adjustment loan, summing the structural loan dummy variable for all years previous.



Table 1: Odds Ratios for Having a Leftist President





Odds Ratios, Bivariate

Odds Ratios, Bivariate with Random Intercept

Model 1

Model 2

Model 3





















































































† p < .10






* p < .05






** p < .01






*** p < .001







Bivariate relationships

            Viewing bivariate statistics, we find that many of our variables have relationships with having a leftist leader at face-value. Structural loans measured as percentages of the corresponding year’s GDP has a negative relationship with having a leftist leader, although the sign switches when it is simply measured as a dummy variable. Lagging the variable five years has no significant relationship with having a leftist leader. The accumulation of loans, both relative to GDP and as a sum of dummy variables, is positively related to having a leftist leader. GNI per capita similarly has a positive relationship with having a leftist leader, although democratization does not.

            The bivariate logistic regressions, when adding a random intercept, reflect the same findings, although with higher coefficients. That is, when the particular country is controlled for, the results remain the same for the original logistic regressions, though at greater magnitudes. Having a structural loan for the year drastically decreases the odds of having a leftist leader for that year. GNI growth increases the probability of having a leftist leader.


Multivariate models

            Having a structural loan for a given year largely does not have a relationship with having a leftist leader in multivariate models. The presence of a loan, regardless of size (i.e. the dummy coded loan for the year), has a reverse direction from the other loan variables. In sum, it is reasonable to conclude that there is no relationship between loans and having a leftist leader. When lagging the variable five years, however, there is a marginal significance at the .10 level for having a negative relationship on having a leftist leader.

            The accumulation of loans, on the other hand, is clearly related to having a leftist leader. Controlling for our other variables, each percent of GDP’s worth of loans increases the probability of having a leftist leader by a factor of around 1.1. The accumulation of dummy-coded years for which such loans were gathered is also significant, increasing the probabilities on the dependent variable by around 1.2.

            GNI per capita logged also has a positive relationship with having a leftist leader. That is, as the populace as a whole grows its income, the probability for having a leftist leader increases. This variable, however, is highly correlated with year. Controlling for year, there is no significance of GNI per capita on a leftist president. Replacing Further research is needed to see whether, and/or what kind of relationship GNI per capita has on having a leftist leader.

[[[we can sort this finding out better if we can do the pooled time series cross sectional analysis]]]

            The level of democratization also seems to be positively related to having a leftist leader.Whle democratization is very statistically significant using the model with a dummy variable for having had a loan for a particular year (as well as the accumulated loans), it is only marginally significant when the structural adjustment loans are measured differently.  As a country gathers more political rights, it is more likely to elect a leftist leader.



(devpolicylending_short.xls) is basic information for all World Bank projects using a development policy lending instrument, including country name, years the loan was approved and closed, amount of loan (in current $US millions), and World Bank project ID (which you can use to look up detailed information on the WB website). The second file (dplexpand.dta) is a STATA file with the same information, but the projects are expanded to cover all years included in the loan. You can aggregate this file by country-year to get a measure of total loans active in a year, which is what we are using in our paper.
The data includes all World Bank loans that included policy reforms (the majority of which are structural adjustment). Sarah Babb suggested this is a more accurate measure of structural adjustment.


PLAID stands for the Project-Level Aid Database, which a group of political scientists and economists have been compiling with some help from the Gates Foundation. When it is completed, it is expected to be a one-stop-shop for all aid and loan data, including all data from the bilaterals and IFIs. I spoke to them last summer about their structural adjustment data, which they were in the process of collecting. They recently teamed up with the Development Gateway to form AidData, a website that will supposedly house all of the data. You can find more details here:


Pearsons correlation coefficients among the main variable (obs=686)


             |    years gdplog~d loansy~t fiveye~t accumu~t gnicpl~d fhtota~e pinkpr~y


       years |   1.0000

     gdplogged |   0.2932   1.0000

loansyearg~t |  -0.0537  -0.2055   1.0000

fiveyeargd~t |   0.1056  -0.1328   0.1471   1.0000

accumulate~t |   0.3860  -0.1878   0.2933   0.5145   1.0000

 gnicplogged |   0.4710   0.6705  -0.2214  -0.0842  -0.0190   1.0000

fhtotalscore |  -0.2472  -0.1076   0.0194  -0.0958  -0.1436  -0.5016   1.0000

pinkpresid~y |   0.3877   0.1791  -0.0753  -0.0105   0.1669   0.2276  -0.0308   1.0000

loansyeargdppercent= (the amount loaned in that year/gdp) This was multiplied by 100 so that the units are expressed as "the size of the loan as a percentage of gdp for the year."
Fiveyeargdppercent= This is the same as above, except is a 5 year lagged variable
Accumulatedpercent= This is the accumulated loans/gdp. So "how many gdp's worth of loans has one country accumulated," in percentages.
Gnicplogged= basically the same thing as gdp per capita logged
Fhtotalscore= freedom house, proxy for "democratization"


Accumulated loans dummy= accumulated amount of years in which a country has had a structural loan. The accumulation of the dummy variable for whether it had a loan for a particular year.
[add country graphs of pink tide and loan amounts]  discuss cases


          We have not finished our research. Conclusions will be presented in a revised version.


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[1] World Social Forum Charter