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How to assist separatists in breaking up a country... or, rather, not: The role of decentralization and development assistance

  • Ehrke, Jürgen

The international community is usually set against secessionist movements that threaten to break up existing states. At the same time, many fragmented countries receive development aid, which influences the political process there. The model presented here seeks to answer two questions: “Is decentralization a suitable tool to appease separatist movements and prevent a secession?”, and “Can development policies can be designed in a way that they don’t unwillingly trigger secession as a side effect?”. Using a framework frequently applied in the literature on secession, it turns out (a) that under certain conditions a secession threat can be used by a minority region to gain a higher level of decentralization than the larger part of the country would prefer, and (b) that a secession threat might undermine aid policies that focus directly on poverty reduction or on the improvement of governance, especially where they are not accompanied by (additional) decentralization. – It can be shown that the results are robust to a relaxation of initial simplifications.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44045.

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Date of creation: 30 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44045
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  1. repec:sen:rebelj:v:liv:y:2009:i:1:p:4-22 is not listed on IDEAS
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  10. Klaas Staal, 2010. "Incentives for separation and incentives for public good provision," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 531-546, December.
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  12. Roy Bahl & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2013. "Sequencing Fiscal Decentralization," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 641-687, November.
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  15. Hristos Doucouliagos & Martin Paldam, 2005. "The Aid Effectiveness Literature. The Sad Result of 40 Years of Research," Economics Working Papers 2005-15, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  16. Enrico Spolaore, 2009. "Efficiency and Stability of National Borders," Review of Business and Economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen, vol. 0(1), pages 4-21.
  17. 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.
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