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The Break-Up of Municipalities –Voting Behavior in Local Referenda


  • Brink, Anna

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)


This paper examines the economic and political conditions that influence people’s attitudes regarding a municipality break-up. The theoretical model predicts intra-municipal differences in tax bases, political preferences, and population size to affect the expected gain from secession. The predictions of the model are tested using data on local referenda about municipality partitioning in Sweden. The data support one of the three effects; voters in municipality parts that are wealthy compared to other parts of the same municipality are more positive to secession.

Suggested Citation

  • Brink, Anna, 2001. "The Break-Up of Municipalities –Voting Behavior in Local Referenda," Working Papers in Economics 58, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 05 Sep 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0058

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard & Spolaore, Enrico, 1996. "Economic theories of the break-up and integration of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 697-705, April.
    3. Patrick Bolton & Gérard Roland, 1997. "The Breakup of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1057-1090.
    4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    5. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1995. "Togetheror separately? Issues on the costs and benefits of political and fiscal unions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 751-758, April.
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    More about this item


    median voter; municipalities; referenda; break-up;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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