Local government consolidations: The impact of political transaction costs
AbstractLocal government in Norway comprises a large number of small municipalities. Cost efficiency can be improved by consolidating local authorities, and central government has designed a framework to stimulate voluntary mergers. Existing theories suggest that political transaction costs will impede consolidations. (1) Generous grants compensate diseconomies of scale. Central government has promised small municipalities that grant levels will be maintained, but policy promises may not be credible. (2) Property rights to local revenues are nullified when consolidations have been implemented. High-revenue municipalities will therefore go against merger with a poorer neighbor. (3) A consolidated local council may be composed of different political parties, and it may therefore pursue other policies than an existing council. Expected changes in party strength can lead municipalities to oppose a proposed consolidation. (4) Senior politicians are less likely to support mergers, particularly if they come from small polities. We offer an explicit test of these propositions based on data for Norwegian local government. Elected politicians and administrative leaders are more interested in consolidating when efficiency gains are large. Local revenue disparities and to some extent dissimilar party preferences are significant impediments to voluntary mergers. Additionally, smaller municipalities are often prepared to sacrifice some efficiency gain to remain independent polities. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.
Volume (Year): 127 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Borge, Lars-Erik & Sorensen, Rune J, 2002. " Aggregating Spending Preferences: An Empirical Analysis of Party Preferences in Norwegian Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 225-43, March.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
- Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
- Borge, Lars-Erik, 1995. " Economic and Political Determinants of Fee Income in Norwegian Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(3-4), pages 353-73, June.
- Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997.
"On the Number and Size of Nations,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
- Johansson, Eva, 2003. "Intergovernmental grants as a tactical instrument: empirical evidence from Swedish municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 883-915, May.
- Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard, 1997.
"The Breakup of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1057-90, November.
- Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gérard, 1995. "The Break up of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dur, Robert & Staal, Klaas, 2006.
"Local Public Good Provision, Municipal Consolidation, and National Transfers,"
Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems
86, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
- Dur, Robert & Staal, Klaas, 2008. "Local public good provision, municipal consolidation, and national transfers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 160-173, March.
- Robert Dur & Klaas Staal, 2007. "Local Public Good Provision, Municipal Consolidation, and National Transfers," CESifo Working Paper Series 2061, CESifo Group Munich.
- 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,"
- 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.
- Miyazaki, Takeshi, 2013. "Municipal Consolidation and Local Government Behavior: Evidence from Japanese Voting Data on Merger Referenda," Discussion Paper Series 588, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.