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The Economics of Political Borders

  • Enrico Spolaore

This paper presents concepts from economic analysis that shed light on the formation and breakup of sovereign states. First, we discuss the key trade-off between economies of scale in the provision of public good and political costs from heterogeneity of preferences. Second, we present four economic perspectives on the formation of borders: efficient borders, borders as democratic outcomes, borders in a world of rent-seeking Leviathans, and borders as outcomes of conflict and wars. Finally, we provide an analytical illustration of the basic ideas within a simple framework.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/research/documents/2012/spolaoreEconomicsOfPoliticalBorders.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0767.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0767
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995. "On the Number and Size of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
  3. Wacziarg, Romain & Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," Scholarly Articles 4553029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Externalities vs internalities: a model of political integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-268, May.
  5. Klaus Desmet & Michel Breton & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2011. "The stability and breakup of nations: a quantitative analysis," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 183-213, September.
  6. Patrick Bolton & Gérard Roland, 1997. "The Breakup of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1057-1090.
  7. Enrico Spolaore, 2010. "Federalism, Regional Redistribution and Country Stability," Chapters, in: The Political Economy of Inter-Regional Fiscal Flows, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  8. Donald Wittman, 2000. "The Wealth and Size of Nations," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(6), pages 868-884, December.
  9. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2013. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 162, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  10. Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 2001. "Optimal secession rules," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1811-1834, December.
  11. repec:ags:afjare:141665 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2012. "How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8998, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2003. "Global Threats and the Domestic Struggle for Power," Public Economics 0306001, EconWPA.
  14. Johannes Münster, 2007. "Simultaneous inter- and intra-group conflicts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(2), pages 333-352, August.
  15. Enrico Spolaore, 2007. "Civil Conflict and Secessions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0705, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  16. Enrico Spolaore, 2004. "Economic Integration, International Conflict and Political Unions," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(5), pages 3-50, September.
  17. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
  18. Garfinkel, Michelle R., 2004. "Stable alliance formation in distributional conflict," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 829-852, November.
  19. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2005. "Borders and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5202, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2011. "Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations," NBER Working Papers 17271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2009. "War and Relatedness," CEPR Discussion Papers 7371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "War, Peace, and the Size of Countries," Scholarly Articles 4553002, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Trade, Growth, and the Size of Countries," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1995, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  24. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 2006. "Conflict, defense spending, and the number of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 91-120, January.
  25. 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.
  26. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard & Spolaore, Enrico, 1996. "Economic theories of the break-up and integration of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 697-705, April.
  27. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
  28. Leamer, Edward E., 2012. "The Craft of Economics: Lessons from the Heckscher-Ohlin Framework," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262016877.
  29. 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.
  30. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
  31. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 2005. "Federalism and the Democratic Transition: Lessons from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 39-43, May.
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