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The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?

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  • Alesina, Alberto

Abstract

Borders are a man-made institution, and as such their shape cannot be taken as part of the physical landscape. The size of countries is endogenous to politico-economic forces. This paper discusses recent efforts by economists to study three related questions: What determines the evolution of the size of countries? Does size matter for economic success? Given the trend toward decentralization and of creation of supernational unions such as the EU, is the meaning of national borders evolving? (JEL: H10)

Suggested Citation

  • Alesina, Alberto, 2003. "The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?," Scholarly Articles 4551794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4551794
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "Institutional Rules for Federations," NBER Working Papers 8646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & Caroline Hoxby, 2004. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 348-396, April.
    4. Friedman, David, 1977. "A Theory of the Size and Shape of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 59-77, February.
    5. Panizza, Ugo, 1999. "On the determinants of fiscal centralization: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 97-139, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General

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