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Secessions and Political Extremism: Why Regional Referenda Do Not Solve the Problem

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  • Anders Olofsgârd

    (Georgetown University,)

Abstract

This paper shows that an uninformed player can increase his bargaining power by committing to receive information from an expert more skeptical to cooperation. This general idea is applied to a model in which a regional political leader (the expert) influences voting in a referendum on independence by strategically disseminating information about the consequences of separation. I show that this motivates a moderate electorate to appoint a more extreme leader, to receive biased information that increases their bargaining power over the gains of staying unified. However, a trade-off between bargaining power and precision of information causes inefficient outcomes in equilibrium. (JEL: C73, D72, D82, H77) Copyright (c) 2004 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:2:y:2004:i:5:p:805-832
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
      [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF POWER In the Federation]
      ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Vincent Anesi & Philippe De Donder, 2011. "Voting under the Threat of Secession: Accommodation vs. Repression," CESifo Working Paper Series 3458, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Ludema, Rodney D. & Olofsgard, Anders, 2008. "Delegation versus communication in the organization of government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 213-235, February.
    4. Anesi, Vincent, 2012. "Secessionism and minority protection in an uncertain world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 53-61.
    5. Alexander Libman, 2015. "Words or deeds: what matters? On the role of symbolic action in political decentralization," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 801-838, November.
    6. Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2008. "Enlargement versus Deepening: The Trade-off Facing Economic Unions," Working Papers VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics 2, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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