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The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?

  • Alesina, Alberto
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    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)

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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4551794/alesina_size.pdf
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    Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4551794.

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    Date of creation: 2003
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Journal of the European Economic Association
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4551794
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    Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "Institutional Rules for Federations," NBER Working Papers 8646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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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