IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Options for Rationalizing Local Government Structure: A Policy Agenda


  • Brian Dollery

    (Centre for Local Government, University of New England and Yokohama National University)

  • Michael Kortt

    (Southern Cross University School of Business)

  • Bligh Grant

    (Bligh Grant Research Lecturer and Deputy Director, Centre for Local Government, University of New England)


Controversy surrounds structural reform in local government, especially on the question of whether efforts aimed at reducing the number of local authorities enhance the effective operation of the newly created consolidated local government entities. However, the weight of extant conceptual and empirical evidence suggests that while amalgamation typically improves the capacity of local government, it is not only costly, but also has other deleterious consequences. Local council collaboration through resource sharing and joint service provision aimed at capturing the advantages attendant upon scale, but without the adverse democratic and economic effects of consolidation, represents the main alternative form of structural change which still retains local government activity within the public sphere. This paper considers the foundations of shared services, including the embryonic theoretical literature and available empirical evidence, as background to considering the problem of developing policies to promote inter-municipal collaboration.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Dollery & Michael Kortt & Bligh Grant, 2012. "Options for Rationalizing Local Government Structure: A Policy Agenda," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1207, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1207

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brian Dollery & Alexandr Akimov, 2007. "Are Shared Services a Panacea for Australian Local Government? A Critical Note on Australian and International Empirical Evidence," International Review of Public Administration, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 89-102, January.
    2. Roy Bahl & Musharraf Cyan, 2011. "Tax Assignment: Does the Practice Match the Theory?," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 29(2), pages 264-280, April.
    3. Joe S. Bain, 1951. "Relation of Profit Rate to Industry Concentration: American Manufacturing, 1936–1940," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 293-324.
    4. Leo van den Berg & Erik Braun, 1999. "Urban Competitiveness, Marketing and the Need for Organising Capacity," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 36(5-6), pages 987-999, May.
    5. Casella, Alessandra & Frey, Bruno, 1992. "Federalism and clubs : Towards an economic theory of overlapping political jurisdictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 639-646, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Wenyi Chu & Chien-Nan Chen & Chuang-Hung Wang, 2008. "The market share--profitability relationships in the securities industry," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(6), pages 813-826, July.
    2. Samuel D. Barrows, 2017. "With Increased Market Power, Do Aircraft Industry Stock Returns Beat Global Market?," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 7(5), pages 63-69.
    3. Apolte Thomas, 2018. "Sezessionsklauseln: Ein Instrument zur Förderung von Freiheit und Wohlstand?," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 69(1), pages 366-382, July.
    4. John Van Reenen, 2018. "Increasing differences between firms: market power and the macro-economy," CEP Discussion Papers dp1576, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Jacob A. Bikker, 2017. "Performance of the life insurance industry under pressure: efficiency, competition and consolidation," Chapters, in: Jacob A. Bikker & Laura Spierdijk (ed.), Handbook of Competition in Banking and Finance, chapter 9, pages 152-182, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Killins, Robert N., 2020. "Firm-specific, industry-specific and macroeconomic factors of life insurers’ profitability: Evidence from Canada," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    7. Joan Costa-i-Font & Frank Cowell, 2015. "European Identity and Redistributive Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 5412, CESifo.
    8. Denters, Bas & Schobben, Rob & van der Veen, Anne, 1999. "Governance of European border regions: a legal, economic and political science approach," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa133, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Gary Warnaby & David Bennison & Dominic Medway, 2011. "Branding a Roman Frontier in the Twenty-first Century," Chapters, in: Andy Pike (ed.), Brands and Branding Geographies, chapter 15, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Funk, Matt, 2008. "On the Problem of Sustainable Economic Development: A Theoretical Solution to this Prisoner's Dilemma," MPRA Paper 19025, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 08 Jun 2008.
    11. Malgorzata Pawlowska, 2016. "The impact of market structure and the business cycle on bank profitability: does the SCP paradigm work? A case study in Poland prior to and during the financial crisis," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Combining micro and macro data for financial stability analysis, volume 41, Bank for International Settlements.
    12. Germeshausen, Robert & Panke, Timo & Wetzel, Heike, 2014. "Investigating the Influence of Firm Characteristics on the Ability to Exercise Market Power - A Stochastic Frontier Analysis Approach with an Application to the Iron Ore Market," EWI Working Papers 2014-17, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
    13. Patrick P. Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2001. "Product differentiation and firm size distribution : an application to carbonated soft drinks," Working Papers 200113, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    14. Roger Congleton & Andreas Kyriacou & Jordi Bacaria, 2003. "A Theory of Menu Federalism: Decentralization by Political Agreement," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 167-190, September.
    15. Silvia Caserta & Antonio Paolo Russo, 2001. "More means Worse – Asymmetric Information, Spatial Displacement and Sustainable Heritage Tourism," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-035/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. Delgado García, Juan Bautista & De Quevedo Puente, Esther, 2016. "The complex link of city reputation and city performance. Results for fsQCA analysis," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 2830-2839.
    17. Dokow, Elad & Luque, Jaime, 2019. "Provision of local public goods in mixed income communities," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-1.
    18. Gino Cattani & Daniel Sands & Joe Porac & Jason Greenberg, 2018. "Competitive Sensemaking in Value Creation and Capture," Strategy Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(4), pages 632-657, December.
    19. Alda, Mercedes, 2018. "A strategic fund family business decision: The pension fund liquidation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 248-265.
    20. David Autor & David Dorn & Lawrence F Katz & Christina Patterson & John Van Reenen, 2020. "The Fall of the Labor Share and the Rise of Superstar Firms [“Automation and New Tasks: How Technology Displaces and Reinstates Labor”]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(2), pages 645-709.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:ays:ispwps:paper1207. 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: . General contact details of provider: .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Paul Benson (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.