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Political Autonomy and Independence: Theory and Experimental Evidence

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  • Klaus Abbink
  • Jordi Brandts

Abstract

We study the process by which subordinated regions of a country can obtain a more favourable political status. In our theoretical model a dominant and a dominated region first interact through a voting process that can lead to different degrees of autonomy. If this process fails then both regions engage in a costly political conflict which can only lead to the maintenance of the initial subordination of the region in question or to its complete independence. In the subgame-perfect equilibrium the voting process always leads to an intermediate arrangement acceptable for both parts. Hence, the costly political struggle never occurs. In contrast, in our experiments we observe a large amount of fighting involving high material losses, even in a case in which the possibilities for an arrangement without conflict are very salient. In our experimental environment intermediate solutions are feasible and stable, but purely emotional elements prevent them from being reached.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 302.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:302

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Keywords: Secession; collective action; independence movements; laboratory experiments; rent-seeking;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lacomba, Juan A. & Lagos, Francisco & Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2013. "On the Escalation and De-Escalation of Conflict," IZA Discussion Papers 7492, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Michael McBride & Stergios Skaperdas, 2009. "Conflict, Settlement, and the Shadow of the Future," CESifo Working Paper Series 2897, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Libman, Alexander, 2011. "Words or deeds – what matters? Experience of recentralization in Russian security agencies," MPRA Paper 29197, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Ke, Changxia & Konrad, Kai A. & Morath, Florian, 2013. "Alliances in the Shadow of Conflict," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University 420, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. Klaus Abbink & David Masclet & Daniel Mirza, 2012. "Inequality and Inter-group Conflicts – Experimental Evidence," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS, Condorcet Center for political Economy 2012-07-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
  6. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
    [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION O
    ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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