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Political Representation and Effects of Municipal Mergers

Author

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  • Harjunen, Oskari
  • Saarimaa, Tuukka
  • Tukiainen, Janne

Abstract

We study the effects of municipal mergers using novel geocoded data on public sector jobs, housing transactions and local politicians’ place of residence. We find that total municipal expenditures evolve in the same way on average in merged municipalities as in the control group of hypothetical mergers that did not take place. These findings hide substantial heterogeneity within the mergers. Those municipalities that gained only weak political representation in the new post-merger council experience a substantial reduction in local public jobs in administration, and health and social care sectors relative to the municipalities in the same merger that were more strongly represented. This result implies that the mergers had an effect on the within merger spatial distribution of municipal services. However, we do not find conclusive evidence concerning welfare effects. This might be explained by a distance-quality trade-off related to these services.

Suggested Citation

  • Harjunen, Oskari & Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2017. "Political Representation and Effects of Municipal Mergers," Working Papers 98, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:wpaper:98
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    File URL: https://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/148935
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lapointe, Simon, 2018. "“Love thy neighbour”? The effect of income and language differences on votes for municipal secessions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 229-245.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health and social services; impact assessment of policy measures; local democracy; municipal finances; municipal mergers; municipalities; public services; voting; Local public finance and provision of public services; C23; D72; H72; H75; H77;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • 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
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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