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

  • Michel Le Breton
  • Shlomo Weber
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    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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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 01/176.

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    Length: 36
    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/176
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    1. Greenberg, Joseph & Weber, Shlomo, 1986. "Strong tiebout equilibrium under restricted preferences domain," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 101-117, February.
    2. Caplin, Andrew & Nalebuff, Barry, 1991. "Aggregation and Social Choice: A Mean Voter Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23, January.
    3. Weber, Shlomo, 1992. "On Hierarchical Spatial Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 407-25, April.
    4. Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 2001. "Optimal secession rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1811-1834, December.
    5. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard, 1996. "Distributional Conflicts, Factor Mobility, and Political Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 99-104, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Casella, Alessandra & Feinstein, Jonathan, 1991. "Public Goods in Trade: On the Formation of Markets and Political Jurisdictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 511, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 1997. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," NBER Working Papers 6163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Wittman, Donald, 1991. "Nations and States: Mergers and Acquisitions; Dissolutions and Divorce," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 126-29, May.
    10. Jehiel, Philippe & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2001. "Constitutional Rules of Exclusion in Jurisdiction Formation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 393-413, April.
    11. Guesnerie Roger & Oddou Claude, 1979. "Second best taxation as a game," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 7919, CEPREMAP.
    12. Buchanan, James M & Faith, Roger L, 1987. "Secession and the Limits of Taxation: Toward a Theory of Internal Exit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1023-31, December.
    13. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1996. "International Conflict, Defense Spending and the Size of Countries," NBER Working Papers 5694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Casella, Alessandra, 1992. "On Markets and Clubs: Economic and Political Integration of Regions with Unequal Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 115-21, May.
    15. Fidrmuc, Jan, 1999. "Stochastic Shocks and Incentives for (Dis)Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 623-46, May.
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