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Voting under the threat of secession: accommodation vs. repression

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  • Vincent Anesi

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Philippe De Donder

    ()
    (Toulouse School of Economics)

Abstract

We build a simple model of secession crises where a majority of voters may wish to accommodate the minority in order to prevent a secession attempt. We first show the existence of a majority voting equilibrium, where the median voter is decisive and most prefers a government’s type that is biased in favor of the minority. We then propose a measure of the secession risk at equilibrium and perform the comparative static analysis of the equilibrium policy location and of the secession risk with respect to several parameters: the cultural distinctiveness of the two regions, the relative weight attached by voters to economic (centripetal) -as opposed to (centrifugal) ideological- factors, the relative size of the minority region, the (exogenous) probability that a secession attempt is successful, and the intra-regional heterogeneity of preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2011/40.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/12/doc2011-40

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Keywords: Majority voting; secession risk; cultural distinctiveness; conflict; overlapping regional preferences;

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References

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  1. Massimo Morelli & Dominic Rohner, 2010. "Natural Resource Distribution and Multiple Forms of Civil War," OxCarre Working Papers 050, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  2. Gradstein, Mark, 2004. "Political bargaining in a federation: Buchanan meets Coase," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 983-999, October.
  3. Dreze, Jacques & Le Breton, Michel & Weber, Shlomo, 2006. "Rawlsian Pricing of Access to Public Facilities: A Unidimensional Illustration," IDEI Working Papers 409, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Anders Olofsgârd, 2004. "Secessions and Political Extremism: Why Regional Referenda Do Not Solve the Problem," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 805-832, 09.
  5. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  6. Sanjeev Goyal & Klaas Staal, 2000. "The Political Economy of Regionalism," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0287, Econometric Society.
  7. Gradstein, Mark, 2004. "Political Bargaining in a Federation: Buchanan meets Coase," CEPR Discussion Papers 4188, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Ori Haimanko & Michel Breton & Shlomo Weber, 2007. "The stability threshold and two facets of polarization," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 415-430, March.
  9. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard, 1997. "The Breakup of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1057-90, November.
  10. Michele Ruta, 2005. "Economic Theories of Political (Dis)integration," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, 02.
  11. De Donder, Philippe & Le Breton, Michel & Peluso, Eugenio, 2009. "On the (Sequential) Majority Choice of Public Good Size and Location," CEPR Discussion Papers 7223, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Olofsgard, Anders, 2003. "Incentives for secession in the presence of mobile ethnic groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2105-2128, September.
  13. Enrico Spolaore, 2008. "Federalism, Regional Redistribution, and Country Stability," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0726, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  14. Le Breton, Michel & Weber, Shlomo, 2003. "The Art of Making Everybody Happy : How to Prevent a Secession," IDEI Working Papers 164, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  15. Haimanko, Ori & Le Breton, Michel & Weber, Shlomo, 2005. "Transfers in a polarized country: bridging the gap between efficiency and stability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1277-1303, July.
  16. Michel Le Breton & Shlomo Weber, 2003. "The Art of Making Everybody Happy: How to Prevent a Secession," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(3), pages 4.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The tyranny of the (secessionist) minority
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-01-23 16:21:00
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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Libman, 2012. "Sub-national political regimes and asymmetric fiscal decentralization," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 302-336, December.
  2. Ehrke, Jürgen, 2012. "How to assist separatists in breaking up a country... or, rather, not: The role of decentralization and development assistance," MPRA Paper 44045, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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