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Do municipal amalgamations work? Evidence from municipalities in Israel

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  • Reingewertz, Yaniv
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    Abstract

    Municipal amalgamation reforms are a policy being put to use in most developed countries. The basic rationale for most of these reforms is taking advantage of economies of scale in the municipal provision of public services. However, contrary to conventional wisdom of public officials, the related empirical literature, which relies mostly on descriptive evidence, finds almost no benefits arising from an amalgamation. The purpose of this paper is to present empirical evidence for the fiscal outcomes of municipal amalgamations based on the Difference-in-Differences methodology. The paper is using an extensive panel data of municipalities in Israel for the years 1999–2007 in order to analyze the Israeli amalgamation reform of 2003. The results indicate that the amalgamations resulted in a decrease of about 9% in municipal expenditures, and are robust to the possibility of selection bias. I find no evidence of a decrease in the level of services provided to the residents of the amalgamated municipalities. The results suggest that municipal amalgamations do bring economies of scale into practice.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

    Volume (Year): 72 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 240-251

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:72:y:2012:i:2:p:240-251

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

    Related research

    Keywords: Municipal amalgamations; Local governments; Urban and regional finance;

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    Cited by:
    1. Edoardo di Porto & Vincent Merlin & Sonia Paty, 2013. "Cooperation among local governments to deliver public services : a “structural” bivariate response model with fixed effects and endogenous covariate," Working Papers 1304, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
    2. Katsuyoshi Nakazawa & Tomohisa Miyashita, 2013. "Does the method adopted for distribution of services by amalgamating municipalities affect expenditure after amalgamation? Evidence from Japan," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201315, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Katsuyoshi Nakazawa & Tomohisa Miyashita, 2013. "Municipality amalgamation in Japan: A survival analysis of the timings of the amalgamation process," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201338, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Janne Tukiainen & Tuukka Saarimaa, 2013. "Common Pool Problems in Voluntary Municipal Mergers," Working Papers 53, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
    5. Blesse, Sebastian & Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2013. "Do municipal mergers result in scale economies? Evidence from a German federal state," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 176, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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