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Factors Influencing Local Government Cooperation in Rural Areas: Evidence from the Tennessee Valley


  • Steven Brent Lackey

    (Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet)

  • David Freshwater

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Anil Rupasingha

    (Pennsylvania State University)


Various forms of cooperation among local governments have long been advocated as means to aggregate resources and demand in rural areas so that public services and infrastructure can be improved. This research assesses the degree of multicounty collaboration in rural parts of the Tennessee Valley. It uses both a regression model and key informant interviews to establish the factors that stimulate and impede collaboration. Our work finds that while there is considerable collaboration already taking place in the Tennessee Valley Authority region, there are factors, such as a lack of strong advocates for cooperative projects, suspicion of neighboring communities, and differentials in available resources that impede collaboration. Conversely, there are supporting factors, including financial inducements, opportunities for officials to interact, and the presence of a neutral facilitator that can increase the amount of collaboration.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Brent Lackey & David Freshwater & Anil Rupasingha, 2002. "Factors Influencing Local Government Cooperation in Rural Areas: Evidence from the Tennessee Valley," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 16(2), pages 138-154, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:16:y:2002:i:2:p:138-154
    DOI: 10.1177/0891242402016002004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beverly A. Cigler, 1999. "Pre‐Conditions For The Emergence Of Multicommunity Collaborative Organizations1," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 16(1), pages 86-102, March.
    2. Cigler, Beverly A. & Jansen, Anicca C. & Ryan, Vernon D. & Stabler, Jack C., 1994. "Toward An Understanding of Multicommunity Collaboration," Staff Reports 278731, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
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    2. Christian Bergholz & Ivo Bischoff, 2018. "Local council members’ view on intermunicipal cooperation: does office-related self-interest matter?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(12), pages 1624-1635, December.
    3. Pender, John & Reeder, Richard, 2011. "Impacts of Regional Approaches to Rural Development: Initial Evidence on the Delta Regional Authority," Economic Research Report 262240, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Christian Bergholz & Ivo Bischoff, 2015. "Citizens‘ preferences for inter-municipal cooperation in rural areas: evidence from a survey in three Hessian counties," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201523, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. Bakoš Eduard & Hrůza Filip & Fiedor David & Klemešová Kamila Dolák, 2021. "The perception of inter-municipal cooperation by local officials and managers," Central European Journal of Public Policy, Sciendo, vol. 15(5), pages 1-14, June.
    6. Germà Bel & Mildred E. Warner, 2016. "Factors explaining inter-municipal cooperation in service delivery: a meta-regression analysis," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 91-115, April.
    7. Ki-Eun Kang & George C. Homsy, 2020. "Make Me a Better Offer: Developer Threats and Regional Competition for Land Development Projects," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 34(1), pages 21-30, February.
    8. Halstead, John M. & Mohr, Robert D. & Deller, Steven C., 2010. "Service Delivery in Rural Municipalities: Privatize, Cooperate, or Go It Alone?," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 60991, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Linda Christie & Kenneth Gibb, 2015. "A collaborative approach to event-led regeneration: The governance of legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 30(8), pages 871-887, December.
    10. Stadtler, Lea & Probst, Gilbert, 2012. "How broker organizations can facilitate public–private partnerships for development," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 32-46.
    11. Stanislaw Sirko & Marzena Piotrowska-Trybull & Henryk Wojtaszek, 2020. "Application of Text Mining in the Analysis of Relations between Military Units and Local Government Units," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(4), pages 430-447.
    12. Marek Furmankiewicz & Adrian Campbell, 2019. "From Single-Use Community Facilities Support to Integrated Sustainable Development: The Aims of Inter-Municipal Cooperation in Poland, 1990–2018," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(21), pages 1-21, October.
    13. Blaeschke, Frédéric & Haug, Peter, 2014. "Does Intermunicipal Cooperation Increase Efficiency? Evidence from the Hessian Wastewater Sector," IWH Discussion Papers 11/2014, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    14. Ayda Eraydın & Bilge Armatlı Köroğlu & Hilal Erkuş Öztürk & Suna Senem Yaşar, 2008. "Network Governance for Competitiveness: The Role of Policy Networks in the Economic Performance of Settlements in the Izmir Region," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 45(11), pages 2291-2321, October.
    15. Alvin Simms & David Freshwater & Jamie Ward, 2014. "The Rural Economic Capacity Index (RECI)," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 28(4), pages 351-363, November.
    16. Marzena Piotrowska-Trybull & Stanislaw Sirko, 2020. "Military Units as Elements of Development Potential of Small and Medium-Sized Cities," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(Special 2), pages 200-219.
    17. Jered B. Carr & Christopher V. Hawkins & Drew E. Westberg, 2017. "An Exploration of Collaboration Risk in Joint Ventures: Perceptions of Risk by Local Economic Development Officials," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 31(3), pages 210-227, August.

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