Economics of national identity

Publication type

Conference Paper


EPCS 2004: European Public Choice Society Annual Meeting, Berlin, April 15-18, 2004


Publication date

June 1, 2004


Following the decision by the UK government in 1997 to create an elected assembly
in Wales, the Economic and Social Research Council introduced questions about the
perception of national identity in the British Household Panel Survey. Analysis of the
first set of this data suggest that the language might have contradictory effects on the
perception of Welsh identity. Those whose mother tongue is English reject the view
that they are not Welsh, but the self-perception of Welshness amongst the English
speakers is stronger in areas, which are also industrial regions, where the Welsh
language is virtually extinct. We speculate on the implications of these findings for
the electoral fortunes of the National Party of Wales.






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