NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Nation Building

Alberto Alesina, Bryony Reich

NBER Working Paper No. 18839
Issued in February 2013
NBER Program(s):   POL

Nations stay together when citizens share enough values and preferences and can communicate with each other. Homogeneity amongst people can be built with education, teaching a common language to facilitate communication, infrastructure for easier travel, but also by brute force such as prohibiting local cultures. Democracies and non-democracies have different incentives when it comes to choosing how much and by what means to homogenize the population. We study and we compare both regimes in a model where the size of countries and the degree of active homogenization is endogenous. We also offer some historical discussions of cases which illustrate our theoretical results.

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This paper was revised on September 11, 2013

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18839

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