The Origins of Common Identity: Evidence from Alsace-Lorraine

120 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2019

See all articles by Sirus H. Dehdari

Sirus H. Dehdari

Uppsala University - Department of Government

Kai Gehring

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

The quasi-exogenous division of the French regions Alsace and Lorraine after the Franco-Prussian War allows us to provide evidence about group identity formation within historically homogeneous regions. We use several measures of stated and revealed preferences at the municipal-level in a geographical regression discontinuity design. More nation-state repression is associated with a strengthening of regional identity in the short, medium, and long run. We explain this in a model and document that the establishment of regionalist organizations is a key mechanism to strengthen identity. A relatively stronger regional compared to national identity is associated with preferences for more regional decision-making.

Keywords: group identity, nation-building, repression, assimilation, regional identity, border regions, Alsace-Lorraine

JEL Classification: D910, H700, N400, Z190

Suggested Citation

Dehdari, Sirus Håfström and Gehring, Kai, The Origins of Common Identity: Evidence from Alsace-Lorraine (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7949. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3493660

Sirus Håfström Dehdari (Contact Author)

Uppsala University - Department of Government ( email )

Gamla Torget 6
751 20
Uppsala
Sweden

Kai Gehring

University of Zurich - Chair of Political Economy ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland
+4917620916056 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kai-gehring.net

Heidelberg University ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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