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The Art of Making Everybody Happy : How to Prevent a Secession

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  • Le Breton, Michel
  • Weber, Shlomo

Abstract

In this paper we consider a model of the country with heterogeneous population and examine compensation schemes that may prevent a threat of secession by dissatisfied regions. We show that horizontal imbalances are combatable with secession-proof compensation schemes that entail a degree of partial equalization: the disadvantageous regions should be subsidized but the burden on advantageous regions should not be too excessive. In the case of uniform distribution, we establish the 50-percent compensation rule for disadvantageous regions. Thus, we argue for a limited gap reduction between advantageous and disadvantageous regions and show that neither laissez faire nor Rawlsian allocation is secession-proof.
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Suggested Citation

  • Le Breton, Michel & Weber, Shlomo, 2003. "The Art of Making Everybody Happy : How to Prevent a Secession," IDEI Working Papers 164, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:569
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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