Unequal Provision of Local Public Services under the Threat of Secession
This paper studies to what extent it is possible to discriminate between two municipality parts by unequal public service provision when there is a threat of secession. The objective of the local politicians is to maximize utility for only one part of a municipality. The discriminated part is small and politically marginalized, but has the option to secede. The power of the small part's population is in this way entirely exercised through the threat of secession. It becomes their guarantee against being taxed too heavily or against obtaining too little of public services. The case of three recent secession attempts in Göteborg, Sweden, is discussed in light of the model.
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