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Secessionism and the Quality of Government: Evidence from a Sample of OECD Countries

Kyriacou, Andreas and Morral-Palacín, Noemí (2015): Secessionism and the Quality of Government: Evidence from a Sample of OECD Countries. Published in: Territory, Politics and Governance , Vol. 3, No. 2 (1 April 2015): pp. 187-204.

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In this article we test the hypothesis that secessionism reduces government quality because secessionist threats elicit a response from central governments concerned with the territorial integrity of the state and this, in turn, channels attention and resources away from necessary governance reforms. We consider the link between secessionism and government quality based on an original data-set that reflects the electoral success of secessionist parties in national elections. Our empirical results, drawn from a sample of twenty-two OECD countries over the period from 1980 to 2007, support the expectation that secessionism will tend to reduce the quality of government even after controlling for the influence potentially confounding variables and the possibility that government quality may itself affect the electoral fate of secessionist parties.

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