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Reform kommunaler Verwaltungsstrukturen: Zentralisierung bringt nicht nur Effizienzvorteile

Listed author(s):
  • Peter Haug
  • Claus Michelsen

The question whether centralized or decentralized municipal structures are more efficient has been discussed, not only in Germany, for a long time primarily under aspects of law and administrative sciences. In this article, we use an economic approach instead. The prevailing theories on interjurisdictional competition are not conclusive about the cost and welfare effects of centralization. Therefore, using the example of Saxony-Anhalt we investigate empirically if there are any significant differences in expenses or personnel between more centralized municipal governance forms (“Einheitsgemeinden”) or rather decentralized forms (“Verwaltungsgemeinschaften”). Our cross-section analysis for selected municipal activities reveals that both types are very similar in their cost and manning structures. Significant differences can be explained rather by different population densities than by the organizational structure. Considering these results we do not recommend a forced amalgamation of the municipalities in Saxony-Anhalt. Especially, if frustration cost or the political transaction cost, which both rise with centralization, are taken into account.

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Article provided by Halle Institute for Economic Research in its journal Wirtschaft im Wandel.

Volume (Year): 13 (2007)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 403-413

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Handle: RePEc:iwh:iwhwiw:11-07-5
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