- Political autonomy and independence: theory and experimental evidence. - Revised version with new data
- Number of pages
- Amsterdam: Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde
- CREED working paper
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
We study the process by which subordinated regions of a country can obtain a more favourable political status. In our theoretical model a dominant and a dominated region first interact through a voting process that can lead to different degrees of autonomy. If this process fails then both regions engage in a costly political conflict which can only lead to the maintenance of the initial subordination of the region in question or to its complete independence. In the subgame-perfect equilibrium the voting process leads to an intermediate arrangement acceptable for both parts. Hence, the costly political struggle never occurs. In contrast, in our experiments we observe a large amount of fighting involving high material losses, even in a case in which the possibilities for an arrangement without conflict are very salient.