Regional Resources and Democratic Secessionism

ETH Zurich CIS Working Paper No. 90

90 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016 Last revised: 4 May 2018

Kai Gehring

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

Stephan A. Schneider

University of Heidelberg

Date Written: February 21, 2017

Abstract

Based on a probabilistic voting model, we show that regional resources correlate positively with separatist party success in many democracies, but precisely distinguishing economic and cultural reasons is difficult. To solve this challenge, we exploit the fact that Scotland and Wales both feature comparable secessionist parties, but only an independent Scotland would profit from oil discoveries. Using different definitions of discoveries and exogenous changes in world oil prices, we show that resources explain a large part of the rise of the Scottish National Party. The effect is moderated by proximity to England and the most important Scottish oil harbor.

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 Schneider

University of Heidelberg ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

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