Regional Resources and Democratic Secessionism
ETH Zurich CIS Working Paper No. 90
90 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2016 Last revised: 4 May 2018
Date Written: February 21, 2017
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: Suggested Citation