The editor in charge of this paper was Jordi Gali.
Article first published online: 15 MAR 2011
© 2011 by the European Economic Association
Journal of the European Economic Association
Volume 9, Issue 2, pages 246–277, April 2011
How to Cite
Alesina, A., Easterly, W. and Matuszeski, J. (2011), ARTIFICIAL STATES. Journal of the European Economic Association, 9: 246–277. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-4774.2010.01009.x
Acknowledgments: We thank Jean Marie Baland, Alberto Bravo-Biosca, Ernesto dal Bo, Ashley Lester, and participants at conferences at Brown, the NBER, and seminars at Harvard for useful comments. The editor, Jordi Geli, and three anonymous referees provided very valuable feedback on the first version of this paper. For much needed help with maps we thank Patrick Florance, Kimberly Karish, and Michael Oltmans. Alesina gratefully acknowledges financial support from the NSF with a grant through the NBER.
- Issue published online: 15 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 15 MAR 2011
We define artificial states as 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 most countries in the world two measures of the degree to which borders may be artificial. One measures how borders split ethnic groups into two separate adjacent countries. The other measures the straightness of land borders, under the assumption the straight land borders are more likely to be artificial. We then show that these two measures are correlated with several measures of political and economic success.