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On the Number and Size of Nations

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  • Alesina, Alberto
  • Spolaore, Enrico

Abstract

This paper studies the equilibrium determination of the number of countries in different political regimes, and in different economic environments, with more or less economic integration. The authors focus on the trade-off between the benefits of large jurisdictions and the costs of heterogeneity of large and diverse populations. Their model implies that (1) democratization leads to secessions; (2) in equilibrium one generally observes an inefficiently large number of countries; and (3) the equilibrium number of countries is increasing in the amount of economic integration. Copyright 1997, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 112 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1027-56

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1027-56

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  1. Casella, Alessandra & Feinstein, Jonathan, 1991. "Public Goods in Trade: On the Formation of Markets and Political Jurisdictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 511, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. William Easterly & Sergio Rebelo, 1993. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 4499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gérard, 1995. "The Break up of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Benabou, Roland, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-52, August.
  7. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  8. repec:fth:louvco:9337 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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.
  10. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  11. DREZE , Jacques H., 1993. "Regions of Europe : A Feasible Status, to be discussed," CORE Discussion Papers 1993037, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Friedman, David, 1977. "A Theory of the Size and Shape of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 59-77, February.
  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. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, April.
  15. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
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