Economia Politica

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 1–18 | Cite as

The 2017 Regional Election in Catalonia: an attempt to understand the pro-independence vote

  • Adolfo MazaEmail author
  • José Villaverde
  • María Hierro
Original Paper


This paper tries to unveil the main factors behind the triumph of the pro-independence vote in the 2017 Regional Election in Catalonia. The empirical analysis, which is carried out at the county level and by using a spatial econometric model, reveals that geographical location matters. The estimation results also suggest that the pro-independence vote is mainly linked to the birthplace of individuals. More specifically, it shows that the independence feeling is weaker the higher the share of citizens born outside Catalonia. On the other side, young and highly educated people are more prone to independence. Additionally, it is shown that people working in the public sector are more likely to vote for a political party in favor of Catalonia remaining in Spain, while the opposite happens for those voters working in construction. Finally, the results seem to dispel some myths associated with the role played by the county’s size and level of income on the pro-independence vote.


Catalonia Pro-independence vote Explanatory factors Spatial econometrics 

JEL Classification

D72 R11 R23 C21 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CantabriaSantanderSpain

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