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Optimal secession rules

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  • Bordignon, Massimo
  • Brusco, Sandro

Abstract

Should the constitution of a federation allow for peaceful secession? Constitutionally defined secession rules are optimal ex post if the federation breaks down. However, they may be suboptimal ex ante if the member countries receive a benefit from the perceived long-term stability of the federation and constitutionally defined secession rules increase the probability of a break-up. The optimal social contract trades off ex ante benefits and ex post losses, and it may avoid explicit secession rules. If transfers are costly, the trade off is present even if ex post renegotiation is allowed. Finally, we show that under asymmetric information it is more difficult to keep the federation together and that a secession war may occur. --

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 45 (2001)
Issue (Month): 10 (December)
Pages: 1811-1834

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:45:y:2001:i:10:p:1811-1834

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References

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  1. Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 1999. "Optimal secession rules," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-51, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Public Finance," Working Papers 149, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Casella, Alessandra, 1992. "On Markets and Clubs: Economic and Political Integration of Regions with Unequal Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 115-21, May.
  5. Perotti, Roberto & Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 1995. "Together or Separately? Issues on the Costs and Benefits of Political and Fiscal Unions," Scholarly Articles 4553017, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bordignon, Massimo & Manasse, Paolo & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Optimal Regional Redistribution Under Asymmetric Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 1437, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Casella, Alessandra, 1996. "The Role of Market Size in the Formation of Jurisdictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1429, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 979-1009, October.
  10. Richard C. Cornes & Emilson C.D. Silva, 1996. "Local Public Goods, Inter-Regional Transfers and Private Information," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 96/11, Department of Economics, Keele University.
  11. Wacziarg, Romain & Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," Scholarly Articles 4553029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Inter-Regional Insurance," Discussion Papers 9703, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  13. Buchanan, James M & Faith, Roger L, 1987. "Secession and the Limits of Taxation: Toward a Theory of Internal Exit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1023-31, December.
  14. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard & Spolaore, Enrico, 1996. "Economic theories of the break-up and integration of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 697-705, April.
  15. Thomas Apolte, 1997. "Secession Clauses: A Tool for the Taming of an Arising Leviathan in Brussels?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 57-70, March.
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