Regional Resources and Democratic Secessionism
ETH Zurich CIS Working Paper No. 100
108 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016 Last revised: 30 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 20, 2018
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: Suggested Citation