National Identity and Public Goods Provision

Comparative Economic Studies

39 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2016 Last revised: 28 Jan 2021

Date Written: March 4, 2016


This research investigates the relationship between national identity and public goods provision across a wide range of countries. The analysis shows that national identity, measured based on survey data, and public goods provision, measured by a broad set of indicators, are negatively related. This result is explained through a proposed short-run model on country stability, where the provision of national identity and public goods are substitutable. The findings challenge the conventional wisdom on nation-building as a policy tool for mitigating the adverse effects of fractionalization, suggesting that generally it is used as a tool for governments to divert the attention of its citizens from most pressing issues, such as the provision of elementary public goods.

Keywords: National Identity; Nationalism; Public Goods; Fractionalization; Country Stability

JEL Classification: F59, H13, H20, H40, H50, Z10

Suggested Citation

Harutyunyan, Ani, National Identity and Public Goods Provision (March 4, 2016). Comparative Economic Studies, Available at SSRN: or

Ani Harutyunyan (Contact Author)

Sunwater Institute ( email )

12358 Parklawn Dr
North Bethesda, MD 20852
United States


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