Once the dust has settled, is there hope that these changes will be for the good? An optimist might argue that, by giving better representation to neglected political interests, the rise of populism will improve the conditions of the losers from modernisation and will bring about more equitable and inclusive economic outcomes. I am more sceptical, for several reasons. With their anti-establishment rhetoric, populist parties tend to be ill advised and often advocate – and when in office, pursue – policies that are inconsistent or known to be counter-productive. The risk of policy mistakes is enhanced by three factors: first, the bias against redistribution that often accompanies right wing populism; second, the urgency of achieving immediate results, which can easily lead to the implementation of myopic policies; and third, political extremism and the advocacy of radical new policies, which inevitably entails greater risk taking. The lessons from populism in Latin America are not encouraging in these respects.