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Working Paper
Fiscal Federalism
Vincent Anesi, Philippe De Donder

2011/40: Voting under the threat of secession: accommodation vs. repression

We build a simple model of secession crises where a majority of voters may wish to accommodate the minority in order to prevent a secession attempt. We first show the existence of a majority voting equilibrium, where the median voter is decisive and most prefers a government’s type that is biased in favor of the minority. We then propose a measure of the secession risk at equilibrium and perform the comparative static analysis of the equilibrium policy location and of the secession risk with respect to several parameters: the cultural distinctiveness of the two regions, the relative weight attached by voters to economic (centripetal) -as opposed to (centrifugal) ideological- factors, the relative size of the minority region, the (exogenous) probability that a secession attempt is successful, and the intra-regional heterogeneity of preferences.



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