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The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?

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  • Alesina, Alberto
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    Abstract

    Borders are a man-made institution, and as such their shape cannot be taken as part of the physical landscape. The size of countries is endogenous to politico-economic forces. This paper discusses recent efforts by economists to study three related questions: What determines the evolution of the size of countries? Does size matter for economic success? Given the trend toward decentralization and of creation of supernational unions such as the EU, is the meaning of national borders evolving? (JEL: H10)

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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4551794/alesina_size.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4551794.

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    Date of creation: 2003
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    Publication status: Published in Journal of the European Economic Association
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4551794

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & Caroline Hoxby, 2004. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 348-396, April.
    2. Panizza, Ugo, 1999. "On the determinants of fiscal centralization: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 97-139, October.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "Institutional Rules for Federations," NBER Working Papers 8646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. repec:dgr:uvatin:2012111 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Massimo Del Gatto, 2004. "Agglomeration, Integration, and Territorial Authority Scale in a System of Trading Cities. Centralisation versus Devolution," Working Papers 2004.93, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Andrew Hughes Hallett, 2013. "Is Independence Possible in an Interdependent World? Scotland vs. the UK's Participation in the European Economy," Bruges European Economic Policy Briefings 30, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
    4. Enikolopov, Ruben & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2007. "Decentralization and political institutions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2261-2290, December.
    5. Congdon Fors, Heather & Olsson, Ola, 2005. "Endogenous Institutional Change After Independence," Working Papers in Economics 163, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    6. Dirk Schoenmaker & Arjen Siegmann, 2012. "Can European Bank Bailouts work?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-111/IV/DSF43, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. World Bank, 2005. "Latin America and the Caribbean : A Time to Choose, Caribbean Development in the 21st Century," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8542, The World Bank.
    8. Joan Costa-i-Font, 2010. "Unveiling vertical state downscaling: identity and/or the economy?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27750, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Andrew Hughes Hallett, 2012. "Alberto Alesina: The Science of Using Political Economy Concepts to Explain the Macroeconomic Landscape," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 40(4), pages 351-365, December.
    10. Fleck, Robert K. & Hanssen, F. Andrew, 2013. "When voice fails: Potential exit as a constraint on government quality," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 26-41.
    11. Joan Costa-i-Font, 2010. "Unveiling Vertical State Downscaling: Identity and/or the Economy?," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 20, European Institute, LSE.
    12. Costa-Font, Joan & Tremosa-Balcells, Ramon, 2008. "Support for state opting out and stateless national identity in the Basque Country," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2464-2477, December.
    13. Joan Costa Font & Ramon Tremosa Balcells, 2006. "National Identity and the Preference for State Opting-Out in the Basque Country," Working Papers in Economics 151, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    14. Congdon Fors, Heather, 2014. "Do island states have better institutions?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 34-60.
    15. Krug, B. & Hendrischke, H., 2006. "Institution Building and Change in China," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-008-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.

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