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Constitutional Secession Clauses

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Chen, Yan; Ordeshook, Peter C.
Date: 1993
Agency: Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Series: Social Science Working Paper, no. 859
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5682
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): game theory
Abstract: "Taking the view that constitutions are devices whereby people coordinate to specific equilibria in circumstances that allow multiple equilibria, we show that a constitutional secession clause can serve as such a device and, therefore, that such a clause is more than an empty promise or an ineffectual threat. Employing a simple three-person recursive game, we establish that under certain conditions, this game possesses two equilibria - one in which a disadvantaged federal unit secedes and is not punished by the other units in the federation, and a second equilibrium in which this unit does not secede but is punished if it chooses to do so."

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