The contentious issue of dividing Canada's public debt in the event of Quebec's secession has already received considerable attention. Many of the proposed division rules, however, have been either normatively motivated or analytically unjustified. After reviewing the existing literature, this paper uses a positive analytical framework to evaluate the problem, drawing on the perspectives of both sovereign debt theory and bargaining theory. The main conclusion is that while a precise solution cannot be determined definitively, the range of potential settlements may be narrowed considerably and is more likely to be centred around GDP than on population.

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Journal Canadian Public Policy
Rowlands, D. (1997). International aspects of the division of debt under secession: The case of Quebec and Canada. Canadian Public Policy, 23(1), 40–54.