38 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2006
Date Written: March 2006
Artifical states are those in which political borders do not coincide with a division of nationalities desired by the people on the ground. We propose and compute for all countries in the world two new measures of the degree to which states are artificial. One is based on measuring how borders split ethnic groups into two separate adjacent countries. The other measures how straight land borders are, under the assumption the straight land borders are more likely to be artificial. We then show that these two measures seem to be highly correlated with several measures of political and economic success.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Alesina, Alberto F. and Easterly, William and Matuszeski, Janina, Artificial States (March 2006). Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 2115; Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 100. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=890593 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.890593