IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v93y2009i5-6p721-728.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do merging local governments free ride on their counterparts when facing boundary reform?

Author

Listed:
  • Tyrefors Hinnerich, Björn

Abstract

The Western world exhibited a significant trend towards larger local governments in the twentieth century, which was driven to a large extent by boundary reforms. Boundary reforms can provide economic benefits, but may also give rise to costs driven by opportunistic political behavior. This study uses a Swedish compulsory reform to test for such behavior. The reform gives a local government the incentive to accumulate debt before a merger takes place, since the taxpayers in the new locality will share the cost. The strength of the incentive to free ride is determined by the population size of the initial locality relative to that of the new locality. I find an economically large and statistically significant free riding effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Tyrefors Hinnerich, Björn, 2009. "Do merging local governments free ride on their counterparts when facing boundary reform?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 721-728, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:5-6:p:721-728
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047-2727(09)00004-8
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659 Elsevier.
    2. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2005. "Government Weakness and Local Public Debt Development in Flemish Municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(4), pages 395-422, August.
    3. Trueblood, Michael A. & Honadle, Beth Walter, 1994. "An Overview Of Factors Affecting The Size Of Local Government," Staff Papers 13688, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    4. Gilligan, Thomas W & Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Deviations from Constituent Interests: The Role of Legislative Structure and Political Parties in the States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 383-401, July.
    5. Benny Geys & Friedrich Heinemann & Alexander Kalb, 2008. "Local Governments in the Wake of Demographic Change: Evidence from German Municipalities," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(4), pages 434-457, December.
    6. DelRossi, Alison F. & Inman, Robert P., 1999. "Changing the price of pork: the impact of local cost sharing on legislators' demands for distributive public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 247-273, February.
    7. Gilligan, Thomas W. & Matsusaka, John G., 2001. "Fiscal Policy, Legislature Size, and Political Parties: Evidence From State and Local Governments in the First Half of the 20th Century," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 54(1), pages 57-82, March.
    8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "The size and scope of government:: Comparative politics with rational politicians," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 699-735, April.
    9. Henrik Jordahl & Che-Yuan Liang, 2010. "Merged municipalities, higher debt: on free-riding and the common pool problem in politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 157-172, April.
    10. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2001. "An Empirical Investigation of the Strategic Use of Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 570-583, June.
    11. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 37-49, March.
    12. Gordon Tullock, 1959. "Problems of Majority Voting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 571-571.
    13. Bradbury, John Charles & Crain, W. Mark, 2001. "Legislative organization and government spending: cross-country evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 309-325, December.
    14. Gilligan, Thomas W. & Matsusaka, John G., 2001. "Fiscal Policy, Legislature Size, and Political Parties: Evidence from State and Local Governments in the First Half of the 20th Century," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 57-82, March.
    15. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
    16. Reza Baqir, 2002. "Districting and Government Overspending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1318-1354, December.
    17. Perotti, Roberto & Kontopoulos, Yianos, 2002. "Fragmented fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 191-222, November.
    18. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-664, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:5-6:p:721-728. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.