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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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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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References

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  1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  2. repec:fth:louvco:9337 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gérard, 1995. "The Break up of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1995. "Togetheror separately? Issues on the costs and benefits of political and fiscal unions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 751-758, April.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," NBER Working Papers 4715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  13. Alessandra Casella & Jonathan S. Feinstein, 1990. "Public Goods in Trade: On the Formation of Markets and Political Jurisdictions," NBER Working Papers 3554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, December.
  15. 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.
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