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Regional Resources and Democratic Secessionism

ETH Zurich CIS Working Paper No. 90

90 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016 Last revised: 21 Sep 2017

Kai Gehring

University of Zurich - Chair of Political Economy; University of Heidelberg

Stephan A. Schneider

University of Heidelberg

Date Written: February 21, 2017

Abstract

We argue that region-specific resources are crucial to understanding the success of democratic secessionist movements. Exploiting oil discoveries off the Scottish coast as a natural experiment, we estimate the causal effect of regional resources in a difference-in-differences design with Wales as the counterfactual. Using election results at the constituency level from 1945 to 2001, we show that each additional giant oil discovery has a significant positive effect on the Scottish National Party’s vote share of about 2 percentage points. A triple-differences design using changes in world oil prices as additional exogenous variation supports the causal interpretation of this finding.

Keywords: Secession, Separatism, Size of Nations, Resources, Nationalism, Economic Voting

JEL Classification: H77, N9

Suggested Citation

Gehring, Kai and Schneider, Stephan A., Regional Resources and Democratic Secessionism (February 21, 2017). ETH Zurich CIS Working Paper No. 90. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2862023 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2862023

Kai Gehring (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Chair of Political Economy ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland
+4917620916056 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kai-gehring.net

University of Heidelberg ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

Stephan A. Schneider

University of Heidelberg ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

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