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Common Pool Problems in Voluntary Municipal Mergers

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  • Saarimaa, Tuukka
  • Tukiainen, Janne

Abstract

We analyze free-riding behavior by Finnish municipalities prior to municipal mergers. The merger process creates a temporary common pool problem, which arises because of a delay from the initial merger decision to the actual merger. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we find large responses to free riding incentives. Consistent with the 'law of 1/n', the stronger the free-riding incentive a municipality faced, the more it increased its per capita debt and used up its cash reserves. These funds were spent mostly on investment and current expenditures. The results are somewhat surprising because the mergers were agreed upon voluntarily.

Suggested Citation

  • Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2013. "Common Pool Problems in Voluntary Municipal Mergers," Working Papers 53, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:53
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    File URL: https://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/148792
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Roesel, Felix, 2017. "Do mergers of large local governments reduce expenditures? – Evidence from Germany using the synthetic control method," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 22-36.
    2. Benjamin Bruns & Ronny Freier & Abel Schumann, 2015. "Finding your right (or left) partner to merge," Working Papers 2015009, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    3. Agrawal, David R., 2016. "Local fiscal competition: An application to sales taxation with multiple federations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 122-138.
    4. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2016. "Local representation and strategic voting: Evidence from electoral boundary reforms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 31-45.
    5. Massimiliano Ferraresi & Giuseppe Migali & Leonzio Rizzo, 2017. "Does Inter-municipal Cooperation promote efficiency gains? Evidence from Italian Municipal," Working papers 59, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    6. Allers, Maarten & Geertsema, Bieuwe, 2014. "The effects of local government amalgamation on public spending and service levels," Research Report 14019-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    7. Nakazawa, Kasuyoshi, 2016. "Identifying Discretion of Municipalities to Undertake Eligibility Assessments for Japan’s Long-Term Care Insurance Program," MPRA Paper 75565, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Hyytinen, Ari & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2014. "Electoral vulnerability and size of local governments: Evidence from voting on municipal mergers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 193-204.
    9. Peter H. Egger & Marko Köthenbürger & Gabriel Loumeau, 2017. "Local Border Reforms and Economic Activity," CESifo Working Paper Series 6738, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. repec:eee:regeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:132-149 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ronny Freier & Benjamin Bruns & Abel Schumann, 2015. "Finding your right (or left) partner to merge," ERSA conference papers ersa15p188, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Blesse Sebastian & Rösel Felix, 2017. "Was bringen kommunale Gebietsreformen?: Kausale Evidenz zu Hoffnungen, Risiken und alternativen Instrumenten," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 18(4), pages 307-324, November.
    13. Benedikt Fritz & Lars P. Feld, 2015. "The Political Economy of Municipal Amalgamation - Evidence of Common Pool Effects and Local Public Debt," CESifo Working Paper Series 5676, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Benoît LE MAUX & Kristýna DOSTÁLOVÁ & Antti MOISIO, 2017. "Do political parties matter? Endogenous fragmentation, partisanship, and local public expenditures in Finland," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2017-02-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
    15. Blesse, Sebastian & Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2016. "Do municipal mergers reduce costs? Evidence from a German federal state," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 54-74.
    16. Benjamin Bruns & Ronny Freier & Abel Schumann, 2015. "Finding Your Right (or Left) Partner to Merge," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1467, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    17. Hirota, Haruaki & Yunoue, Hideo, 2017. "Evaluation of the fiscal effect on municipal mergers: Quasi-experimental evidence from Japanese municipal data," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 132-149.
    18. Nakazawa, Katsuyoshi, 2016. "Free-rider behavior under voluntary amalgamation: The case of setting the long-term care insurance premium in Japan," MPRA Paper 75147, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Allers, Maarten & van Ommeren, Bernard & Geertsema, Bieuwe, 2015. "Does intermunicipal cooperation create inefficiency? A comparison of interest rates paid by intermunicipal organizations, amalgamated municipalities and not recently amalgamated municipalities," Research Report 15003-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    20. Halse, Askill H., 2016. "More for everyone: The effect of local interests on spending on infrastructure," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 41-56.
    21. Harjunen, Oskari & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2017. "Political Representation and Effects of Municipal Mergers," Working Papers 98, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    22. Sebastian Blesse & Felix Rösel, 2017. "Gebietsreformen: Hoffnungen, Risiken und Alternativen," ifo Working Paper Series 234, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    23. repec:dgr:rugsom:14019-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:25:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10797-017-9449-0 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Common pool; difference-in-differences; free-riding; law of 1/n; municipality mergers; Local public economics; Kunnallistalous; Effectiveness of public services; Julkisten palvelujen vaikuttavuus; D720 - Economic Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking; Elections; Legislatures; and Voting Behavior; H720 - State and Local Budget and Expenditures; H730 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations: Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects; H770 - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing

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