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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 good 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0767.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0767

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  1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "War and Relatedness," NBER Working Papers 15095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Borders and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 331-386, December.
  3. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
  4. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations," NBER Working Papers 17271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Externalities vs internalities: a model of political integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-268, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2003. "Global Threats and the Domestic Struggle for Power," Public Economics 0306001, EconWPA.
  8. Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2003. "Stable Alliance Formation in Distributional Conflict," Public Economics 0305001, EconWPA, revised 16 Jun 2003.
  9. 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.
  10. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
  11. repec:ags:afjare:141665 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2007. "The Diffusion of Development," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0704, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  13. Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 2001. "Optimal secession rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1811-1834, December.
  14. 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.
  15. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 2005. "Federalism and the Democratic Transition: Lessons from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 39-43, May.
  16. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2005. "Trade, Growth and the Size of Countries," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1499-1542 Elsevier.
  17. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2011. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8676, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Johannes Münster, 2007. "Simultaneous inter- and intra-group conflicts," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 333-352, August.
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