Regional Resources and Democratic Secessionism

CESifo Working Paper No. 7336

114 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016 Last revised: 12 Dec 2018

See all articles by Kai Gehring

Kai Gehring

CESifo; University of Bern - Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Stephan A. Schneider

ETH Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: August 20, 2018

Abstract

Although regional resources have been shown to influence secessionist conflicts in developing countries, their effect in established democracies has largely been neglected. We integrate resource value in a model on the optimal size of nations and show that regional wealth correlates positively with secessionist party success in a large panel of regions. To establish causality, our difference-in-differences and triple-differences designs exploit that Scotland and Wales both feature separatist parties, but only an independent Scotland would profit from oil discoveries off its coast. We document an economically and statistically significant positive effect of regional resources and rule out plausible alternative explanations.

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 (August 20, 2018). CESifo Working Paper No. 7336, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2862023 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2862023

Kai Gehring (Contact Author)

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of Bern - Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences ( email )

United States

Stephan A. Schneider

ETH Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Switzerland

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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