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Finding Your Right (or Left) Partner to Merge

Listed author(s):
  • Benjamin Bruns
  • Ronny Freier
  • Abel Schumann
Registered author(s):

    We study political determinants of municipality amalgamations during a boundary reform in the German state of Brandenburg, which reduced the number of municipalities from 1,489 to 421. The analysis is conducted using data on the political decision makers as well as fiscal and socio-economic variables for the municipalities. We ask whether party representation in the town council influences the merger decision. To identify the effect, we follow a dual approach and make use of different stages in the reform process. First, municipalities were initially free to choose partners. In a later phase of the reform the state legislature forced municipalities to amalgamate. We can, thus, compare voluntary to forced units. Second, we simulate potential mergers from the map of municipalities and compare voluntary mergers to those simulated units. Both approaches show that political representation matters significantly during the voluntary stage of the merger reform.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.500371.de/dp1467.pdf
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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1467.

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    Length: 36 p.
    Date of creation: 2015
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1467
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    1. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2015. "Common pool problems in voluntary municipal mergers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 140-152.
    2. Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Externalities vs internalities: a model of political integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-268, May.
    3. repec:hrv:faseco:4553034 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & Caroline Hoxby, 2004. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 348-396, April.
    5. Henrik Jordahl & Che-Yuan Liang, 2010. "Merged municipalities, higher debt: on free-riding and the common pool problem in politics," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 157-172, April.
    6. Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2012. "Do municipal amalgamations work? Evidence from municipalities in Israel," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 240-251.
    7. Wallace E. Oates, 1968. "The Theory of Public Finance in a Federal System," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 1(1), pages 37-54, February.
    8. Gordon, Nora & Knight, Brian, 2009. "A spatial merger estimator with an application to school district consolidation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 752-765, June.
    9. Janne Tukiainen & Tuukka Saarimaa & Hyytinen & Ari, 2013. "Seat competitiveness and redistricting: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers," Working Papers 38, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
    10. Blesse, Sebastian & Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2013. "Do municipal mergers result in scale economies? Evidence from a German federal state," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 176, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    11. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2014. "I Don't Care to Belong to Any Club That Will Have Me as a Member: Empirical Analysis of Municipal Mergers," Political Science Research and Methods, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 97-117, April.
    12. Tyrefors Hinnerich, Björn, 2009. "Do merging local governments free ride on their counterparts when facing boundary reform?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 721-728, June.
    13. David M. Brasington, 2003. "Size and School District Consolidation: Do Opposites Attract?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(280), pages 673-690, November.
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