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Better Alone? Evidence on the Costs of Intermunicipal Cooperation

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  • Clémence Tricaud

Abstract

While central governments encourage intermunicipal cooperation to achieve economies of scale, municipalities are often reluctant to integrate. This paper provides new evidence on the factors explaining their resistance by exploiting a 2010 reform in France that forced non-integrated municipalities to enter an intermunicipal community. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, I assess the causal impact of integration on resisting municipalities. Comparing their experience to that of municipalities that had chosen to integrate before the law, I can identify the local consequences explaining why resisting municipalities opposed integration in the first place. I first find that municipalities forced to integrate experienced a 12.5-percent increase in the number of building permits delivered per year. This impact is driven by high-demand urban municipalities, consistent with NIMBYism explaining their resistance to integration. Second, I find that rural municipalities ended up with fewer local public services. I do not find the same effects for municipalities that voluntarily integrated, while I show that both types of municipality enjoyed similar benefits of integration, in terms of better access to public transport and higher fiscal revenues. These findings support the fact that municipalities resisted to avoid the local costs of integration.

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  • Clémence Tricaud, 2021. "Better Alone? Evidence on the Costs of Intermunicipal Cooperation," CESifo Working Paper Series 9000, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9000
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    4. Ning Jia & Huiyong Zhong, 2022. "The Causes and Consequences of China's Municipal Amalgamations: Evidence from Population Redistribution," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 30(4), pages 174-200, July.
    5. Tsuyoshi Goto, 2023. "Do municipal mergers reduce public expenditure? Evidence from the MTE approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 43(3), pages 1366-1376.
    6. Julia Cage & Edgard Dewitte, 2022. "When Does Money Matter for Elections?," SciencePo Working papers hal-03619549, HAL.
    7. Lionel WILNER, 2020. "How do citizens perceive centralization reforms? Evidence from the merger of French regions," Working Papers 2020-20, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics, revised 07 Jun 2021.
    8. Julia Cage & Edgard Dewitte, 2022. "When Does Money Matter for Elections?," Post-Print hal-03619549, HAL.
    9. Schmutz, Benoît & Verdugo, Gregory, 2023. "Do elections affect immigration? Evidence from French municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 218(C).
    10. Jaaidane, Touria & Larribeau, Sophie, 2023. "The effects of inter-municipal cooperation and central grant allocation on the size of the French local public sector," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    11. Hitoshi Saito & Haruaki Hirota & Hideo Yunoue & Miki Miyaki, 2023. "Do municipal mergers internalise spatial spillover effects? empirical evidence from Japanese municipalities," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 70(2), pages 379-406, April.
    12. Howard, Greg & Liebersohn, Jack, 2021. "Why is the rent so darn high? The role of growing demand to live in housing-supply-inelastic cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    13. Guillaume Chapelle & J.B. Eyméoud & C. Wolf, 2023. "Land-use regulation and housing supply elasticity: evidence from France," THEMA Working Papers 2023-08, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    14. Pierre Magontier & Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans Marsal, 2021. "The Political Economy of Coastal Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 9059, CESifo.
    15. Sonia Paty & Morgan Ubeda, 2021. "Inter-municipal cooperation and the provision of local public goods," Working Papers 2121, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    16. Pierre C. Boyer & Thomas Delemotte & Germain Gauthier & Vincent Rollet & Benoît Schmutz, 2020. "Social Media and the Dynamics of Protests," CESifo Working Paper Series 8326, CESifo.
    17. Duchini, Emma & Van Effenterre, Clémentine, 2020. "School Schedule and the Gender Pay Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 13791, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Boyer, Pierre & Delemotte, Thomas & Gauthier, Germain & Rollet, Vincent & Schmutz, Benoit, 2020. "The Gilets jaunes: Offline and Online," CEPR Discussion Papers 14780, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    local governments; intermunicipal cooperation; difference-in-differences; housing regulations; local public services;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock

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