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Options for Rationalizing Local Government Structure: A Policy Agenda

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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
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    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp1207.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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.
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    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.
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