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Subnational borders and individual well-being : Evidence from the merger of French regions

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  • Lionel WILNER

    () (INSEE – CREST)

Abstract

Using the 2016 merger of French regions as a natural experiment, this paper adopts a difference-in-difference identification strategy to recover its causal impact on individual subjective well-being. No depressing effect is found despite increased centralization and higher local public spending, an intended effect of the merger. Life satisfaction has even increased in regions that were absorbed from economic and political viewpoints. The empirical evidence suggests that local economic performance improved in the concerned regions, which includes a faster decline in the unemployment rate. In this setting, economic gains have likely outweighed cultural attachment to administrative regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lionel WILNER, 2020. "Subnational borders and individual well-being : Evidence from the merger of French regions," Working Papers 2020-20, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2020-20
    as

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    File URL: http://crest.science/RePEc/wpstorage/2020-20.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Merger of regions; natural experiment; difference-in-difference; subjective well-being; centralization;

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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