Love on the Rocks: The Causal Effects of Separatist Governments in Quebec

36 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2019 Last revised: 29 Jul 2021

See all articles by Vincent Geloso

Vincent Geloso

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Kevin B. Grier

Texas Tech University

Date Written: July 29, 2021

Abstract

Is separatism economically costly or is the violence associated with separatism to blame? Most separatist movements overlap with violent ethnic tensions and are associated with economically destructive outcomes. In this paper, we consider a (largely) peaceful separatist movement. Specifically, we use the synthetic control method to study the economic consequences of the surprising victory of the Parti Québécois in Quebec in 1976 and the subsequent referendum on Quebec’s independence in 1980. We find that, relative to our control, the election of separatists had a small positive effect on economic activity until 1980 after which a small negative effect appears. We find no effects on Canada as a whole as well as similar results following the 1994 election. We further find that the size of the provincial government (relative to GDP) constantly and significantly exceeded the counterfactual. We argue that the economic costs of separatist movements may arise from the frequently associated violence and not be intrinsic to any sort of attempted political disintegration.

Keywords: Quebec, Separatism, Synthetic Control Method, Political Instability, Economic Performance

JEL Classification: E02, F02, N40

Suggested Citation

Geloso, Vincent and Grier, Kevin B., Love on the Rocks: The Causal Effects of Separatist Governments in Quebec (July 29, 2021). European Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3303210 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3303210

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Kevin B. Grier

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
202
Abstract Views
1,321
rank
191,816
PlumX Metrics