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The Economics of Political Borders

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  • Enrico Spolaore

Abstract

This paper presents concepts from economic analysis that shed light on the formation and breakup of sovereign states. First, we discuss the key trade-off between economies of scale in the provision of public goods and political costs from heterogeneity of preferences. Second, we present four economic perspectives on the formation of borders: efficient borders, borders as democratic outcomes, borders in a world of rent-seeking Leviathans, and borders as outcomes of conflict and wars. Finally, we provide an analytical illustration of the basic ideas within a simple framework.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-06/cesifo1_wp3854.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3854.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3854

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Keywords: economies of scale; heterogeneity costs; conflict; size of nations;

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References

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Trade, Growth, and the Size of Countries," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1995, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "War and Relatedness," CESifo Working Paper Series 2696, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Borders and Growth," NBER Working Papers 9223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 2001. "Optimal secession rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1811-1834, December.
  6. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0762, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  7. Garfinkel, Michelle R., 2004. "Global threats and the domestic struggle for power," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 495-508, June.
  8. Klaus Desmet & Michel Le Breton & Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Shlomo Weber, 2009. "The Stability and Breakup of Nations: A Quantitative Analysis," Vives discussion paper series 10, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen, Vives.
  9. repec:ags:afjare:141665 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2011, pages 11-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2003. "Stable Alliance Formation in Distributional Conflict," Public Economics 0305001, EconWPA, revised 16 Jun 2003.
  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. Leamer, Edward E., 2012. "The Craft of Economics: Lessons from the Heckscher-Ohlin Framework," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262016877, December.
  14. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
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