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Support for state opting out and stateless national identity in the Basque Country


  • Costa-Font, Joan
  • Tremosa-Balcells, Ramon


Preferences for state opting out are thought of as being the expression of underpinning conflicts of states national identity, empirical evidence on its underlying behavioural processes is scarce. This paper draws upon evidence form the Basque Country to examine the support for a hypothetical opting out from the Spanish State in the light of a reformulation of [Ackerlof, G.A., Kranton, R.E., 2000. Economics and Identity. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115, 715-753]. We use representative survey data from the Spanish Institute of Sociological Research for the Basque Country. To adjust our empirical specification to the prevalent hypothesis we employ a recursive seemingly unrelated probit approach. Our results suggest evidence for a simultaneous and endogenous influence of national identity on political preferences for the opting out of the Basque Country from Spain. We find evidence consistent with an instrumental conception of identity as motivating preferences for nation-state opting out, and status quo bias.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:6:p:2464-2477

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Albert Breton, 1964. "The Economics of Nationalism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 376-376.
    8. Joan Costa-Font & Ana Rico, 2006. "Vertical Competition in the Spanish National Health System (NHS)," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 477-498, September.
    9. Breton, Albert & Fraschini, Angela, 2003. "Vertical Competition in Unitary States: The Case of Italy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(1-2), pages 57-77, January.
    10. Alesina, Alberto, 2003. "The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?," Scholarly Articles 4551794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    12. Thomas Stieve, 2005. "National Identity In Niagara Falls, Canada And The United States," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 96(1), pages 3-14, February.
    13. Meier-Pesti, Katja & Kirchler, Erich, 2003. "Nationalism and patriotism as determinants of European identity and attitudes towards the euro," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 685-700, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hoyos, David & Mariel, Petr & Fernández-Macho, Javier, 2009. "The influence of cultural identity on the WTP to protect natural resources: Some empirical evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2372-2381, June.


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