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Subnational borders and individual well-being: Evidence from the merger of French regions

Lionel Wilner

No 2020-20, Working Papers from Center for Research in Economics and Statistics

Abstract: Using the 2016 merger of French regions as a natural experiment, this paper adopts a difference-in-difference identification strategy to recover its causal impact on individual subjective well-being. No depressing effect is found despite increased centralization and higher local public spending, an intended effect of the merger. Life satisfaction has even increased in regions that were absorbed from economic and political viewpoints. The empirical evidence suggests that local economic performance improved in the concerned regions, which includes a faster decline in the unemployment rate. In this setting, economic gains have likely outweighed cultural attachment to administrative regions.

Keywords: Merger of regions; natural experiment; difference-in-difference; subjective well-being; centralization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H75 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 48 pages
Date: 2020-07-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-hap and nep-ure
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