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On the Number and Size of Nations

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  • Alberto Alesina
  • Enrico Spolaore

Abstract

This paper studies the equilibrium determination of the number of countries in different political regimes, and in different economic environments, with more or less economic integration. We focus on the trade-off between the benefits of large jurisdictions and the costs of heterogeneity of large and diverse populations. Our model implies that (i) democratization leads to secessions; (ii) in equilibrium one generally observes an inefficiently large number of countries; (iii) the equilibrium number of countries is increasing in the amount of economic integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1027-1056.
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