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This paper provides a cradle-to-grave model for political union between two unequally endowed states. We introduce negotiated, contested, and time-consistent contested constitutions to address various classes of merger problems. Merger agreement is shown to be path dependent and, in some cases, time inconsistent. The possibility of contest constrains the set of mutually agreeable tax rates and provides stability to a constitution. Demographic heterogeneity constrains the set of mutuallydoi:10.1016/j.irle.2011.01.002 fatcat:ha7aopwlv5fb5bxvhrjezicrty