Effect of populism on the internationalization of emerging market firms

Jorge Alcaraz*, Julio Martinez-Suarez, Miguel A. Montoya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to determine whether policy uncertainty caused by institutional decay in countries with populist rulers influences the internationalization decision of emerging market firms (EMFs). Design/methodology/approach: The study used binary logit analysis on firms from Latin American countries undertaking cross-border greenfield investment projects. Findings: The results suggest that internationalization decision is demotivated by policy uncertainty generated by populist chief executives and promoted by that of political parties. Originality/value: This study uses populist rhetoric to describe policy uncertainty due to chief executives and ruling parties, which influences internationalization decision by increasing anticipated transaction costs. This inquiry identifies populism as a variable that influences EMFs to internationalize, while empirically testing the claim of theoretical scholarship that populism reconfigured the sociopolitical and institutional forces that shape the world’s business. This study further advances institutional theory by offering a fresh perspective on the influence of home instead of host-country institutions on the internationalization motivation of firms due to institutional decay caused by populist regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-31
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Business Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Jorge Alcaraz, Julio Martinez-Suarez and Miguel A. Montoya.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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