Economic Populism vs Economic Sufficiency: A Crossroads Facing Thailand

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Paphapat Akkarangkul


Thailand has for many decades adopted economic policies that are overly dependent on international trade, foreign investment and oil and energy imports, thus diminishing the country’s economic self-reliance and self-immunity and subsequently rendering it vulnerable to unexpected economic shocks. Therefore, this research examined two diverse economic policies and determined the possible economic impacts associated with the implementation of policies in the context of Thailand. To this end, the macroeconometric model was established and simulated in light of three external shocks, i.e. the changes in the global energy prices, the overseas interest rates and the incomes of the country’s major trading partners. Specifically, two economic policies were of interest – the populist and sufficiency economic policies. Furthermore, the effectiveness of available economic tools under both economic policies was assessed and the caveats identified. The populist policy emphasizes rapid economic growth at the expense of the natural resources and environment, while the sufficiency policy stresses a healthy, inclusive and sustainable economic prosperity.

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