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The Survival and Demise of the State: A Dynamic Theory of Secessions

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  • Esteban, Joan
  • Flamand, Sabine
  • Morelli, Massimo
  • Rohner, Dominic

Abstract

This paper describes the repeated interaction between groups in a country as a repeated Stackelberg bargaining game, where conflict and secessions can happen on the equilibrium path due to commitment problems. If a group out of power is sufficiently small and their contribution to total surplus is not too large, then the group in power can always maintain peace with an agreeable surplus sharing offer every period. When there is a mismatch between relative size and relative surplus contribution of the minority group, conflict can occur. While in the static model secession can occur only as peaceful outcome, in the infinite horizon game with high discount factor conflict followed by secession can occur. We discuss our full characterization of equilibrium outcomes in light of the available empirical evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Esteban, Joan & Flamand, Sabine & Morelli, Massimo & Rohner, Dominic, 2017. "The Survival and Demise of the State: A Dynamic Theory of Secessions," CEPR Discussion Papers 12398, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12398
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    Cited by:

    1. Flamand, Sabine, 2019. "Partial decentralization as a way to prevent secessionist conflict," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 159-178.
    2. Musatov, D. & Savvateev, A., 2022. "Mathematical models of stable jurisdiction partitions: A survey of results and new directions," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 12-38.
    3. Dominic Rohner, 2018. "Success Factors for Peace Treaties: A Review of Theory and Evidence," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 18.08, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    conflict; Dynamic Game; Secession; Separatism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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