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Political Autonomy and Independence: Theory and Experimental Evidence

Klaus Abbink and Jordi Brandts

UFAE and IAE Working Papers from Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC)

Abstract: We study the process by which subordinated regions of a country can obtain a more favourable political status. In our theoretical model a dominant and a dominated region first interact through a voting process that can lead to different degrees of autonomy. If this process fails then both regions engage in a costly political conflict which can only lead to the maintenance of the initial subordination of the region in question or to its complete independence. In the subgame-perfect equilibrium the voting process always leads to an intermediate arrangement acceptable for both parts. Hence, the costly political struggle never occurs. In contrast, in our experiments we observe a large amount of fighting involving high material losses, even in a case in which the possibilities for an arrangement without conflict are very salient. In our experimental environment intermediate solutions are feasible and stable, but purely emotional elements prevent them from being reached.

Keywords: Secession; collective action; independence movements; laboratory experiments; rent-seeking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 C93 D72 D74 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26
Date: 2007-03-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-exp and nep-pol
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Related works:
Journal Article: Political autonomy and independence: Theory and experimental evidence (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Political autonomy and independence: Theory and experimental evidence (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: Political Autonomy and Independence: Theory and Experimental Evidence (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: Political Autonomy and Independence: Theory and Experimental Evidence (2007) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aub:autbar:689.07

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