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National Identity and the Preference for State Opting-Out in the Basque Country

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  • Joan Costa Font
  • Ramon Tremosa Balcells

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Abstract

We argue that preferences for secession are the expression of common unobserved factors determining national identity, and accordingly that identity matters. This paper examines the hypothesis of support for secession (independent Euskadi) and Basque national identity as being dependent in the light of a reformulation of Akerloff and Kranton (2000). We examine observed economic determinants of individuals national identity (and their perceived imagined community or nation) formation as well as those that influence the propensity of individuals to support the secession.. We undertake econometric survey analysis for the Basque Country using a bivariate probit model and publicly available data from the Spanish Centre for Sociological Research. Our results suggest evidence of a common determination of national identity and political preferences for the secession of the Basque Country consistently with Akerloff and Kranton model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 151.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2006151

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Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques. Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona. Spain.
Web page: http://www.ere.ub.es
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  1. Howitt, Peter & Wintrobe, Ronald, 1995. "The political economy of inaction," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 329-353, March.
  2. Milanovic, Branko, 1996. "Nations, conglomerates, and empires : the tradeoff between income and sovereignty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1675, The World Bank.
  3. Alberto Alesina, 2002. "The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1975, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Wacziarg, Romain & Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," Scholarly Articles 4553029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  6. Alesina, Alberto, 2003. "The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?," Scholarly Articles 4551794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Meier-Pesti, Katja & Kirchler, Erich, 2003. "Nationalism and patriotism as determinants of European identity and attitudes towards the euro," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 685-700, December.
  8. Breton, Albert & Fraschini, Angela, 2003. " Vertical Competition in Unitary States: The Case of Italy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(1-2), pages 57-77, January.
  9. Mel Watkins, 1978. "The Economics of Nationalism and the Nationality of Economics: A Critique of Neoclassical Theorizing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(5), pages 87-120, November.
  10. 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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