Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Economics (ECON)

First Advisor

Nyema Guannu


Over the past 50 years, volatile leaders in both democratic and autocratic societies have made significant changes in international trade policies. From Chile in the 1970s to Turkey in the 2010s, nations with different types of political systems have faced both balance of trade and exchange rate volatility thanks to their unsteady leaders, such as Miguel Pinochet and Recep Erdoğan. However, the economic effects on the citizens of these nations are not always directly negative, prompting the question of whether or not the effects on citizens are independent of their leaders’ international trade policy actions. Through studies of Argentina, Russia, Turkey, the United States, Venezuela, and select other countries, I will analyze the connections between volatile leaders’ international trade policies and the effects on citizens. I hypothesize that citizens are more negatively affected in terms of GDP per capita when the nation in question has an autocratic system.