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Is there a "zoo effect" in French local governments?


  • Quentin Frère
  • Hakim Hammadou
  • Sonia Paty


From the observation that many public goods ?such as zoos? are indivisible, OATES (1988) put forward the idea that the range of public goods should increase with localities? size; this is the "zoo effect". But despite this argument appears obvious, it suffers from a limited empirical literature. Therefore, the purpose of the present paper is to test this theoretical argument using data on French inter-municipalities, i.e. local governments that gather several municipalities together in order to manage some local goods. Depending on their spatial position, we split our data set into three groups: urban, suburban and rural inter-municipalities. Using spatial econometrics, estimation results provide evidence for the existence of a zoo effect in French inter-municipalities. In other terms, we find that the variety of services provided in larger inter-municipalities exceeds those in smaller communities. Moreover, the intensity of the zoo effect depends on the urban-rural gradient. It is less intense in the suburban and rural areas than in the urban communities.

Suggested Citation

  • Quentin Frère & Hakim Hammadou & Sonia Paty, 2011. "Is there a "zoo effect" in French local governments?," INRA UMR CESAER Working Papers 2011/1, INRA UMR CESAER, Centre d'’Economie et Sociologie appliquées à l'’Agriculture et aux Espaces Ruraux.
  • Handle: RePEc:ceo:wpaper:27

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. LE GALLO, Julie, 2000. "Econométrie spatiale 1 -Autocorrélation spatiale," LATEC - Document de travail - Economie (1991-2003) 2000-05, LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS UMR 5118, Université de Bourgogne.
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    More about this item


    Local public services; Population size; Zoo effect; French juridictions; Intermunicipalities; spatial econometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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