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National Identity and the Preference for State Opting-Out in the Basque Country

Author

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  • Joan Costa Font
  • Ramon Tremosa Balcells

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Abstract

We argue that preferences for secession are the expression of common unobserved factors determining national identity, and accordingly that identity matters. This paper examines the hypothesis of support for secession (independent Euskadi) and Basque national identity as being dependent in the light of a reformulation of Akerloff and Kranton (2000). We examine observed economic determinants of individuals national identity (and their perceived imagined community or nation) formation as well as those that influence the propensity of individuals to support the secession.. We undertake econometric survey analysis for the Basque Country using a bivariate probit model and publicly available data from the Spanish Centre for Sociological Research. Our results suggest evidence of a common determination of national identity and political preferences for the secession of the Basque Country consistently with Akerloff and Kranton model.

Suggested Citation

  • Joan Costa Font & Ramon Tremosa Balcells, 2006. "National Identity and the Preference for State Opting-Out in the Basque Country," Working Papers in Economics 151, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2006151
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Enrico Spolaore & Alberto Alesina & Romain Wacziarg, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1276-1296, December.
    2. Nadeau, Richard & Martin, Pierre & Blais, Andr, 1999. "Attitude Towards Risk-Taking and Individual Choice in the Quebec Referendum on Sovereignty," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(03), pages 523-539, June.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:01:p:37-49_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mel Watkins, 1978. "The Economics of Nationalism and the Nationality of Economics: A Critique of Neoclassical Theorizing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(5), pages 87-120, November.
    5. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    6. 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.
    7. Alesina, Alberto, 2003. "The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?," Scholarly Articles 4551794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    8. Milanovic, Branko, 1996. "Nations, conglomerates, and empires : the tradeoff between income and sovereignty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1675, The World Bank.
    9. Howitt, Peter & Wintrobe, Ronald, 1995. "The political economy of inaction," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 329-353, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Buchanan, James M & Faith, Roger L, 1987. "Secession and the Limits of Taxation: Toward a Theory of Internal Exit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1023-1031, December.
    12. Alberto Alesina, 2002. "The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1975, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H19 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Other
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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