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Municipal preferences for state imposed amalgamations: An empirical study based on the 1952 municipal reform in Sweden


  • Hanes, Niklas

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

  • Wikström, Magnus

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

  • Wångmar, Erik

    () (Department of Social Science, Växjö University)


This paper concerns municipal preferences for state imposed municipal amalgamations. The main purpose of the paper is to study what factors that can explain municipal acceptance or objection of a state imposed amalgamation decision. The empirical analysis is based on the extensive municipal reform in Sweden in 1952. As much as 66 percent of the newly formed municipalities had at least one municipality that objected to the new organisation. The results indicate that the size of the municipality is of importance; small and large municipalities are most likely to accept the amalgamation decision. Furthermore, the relative municipal size affects the probability of accepting the amalgamation decision and equally sized municipalities are less likely to amalgamate on a voluntary basis. We also find that interjurisdictional co-operation prior to the reform has a positive effect on the municipal decision to accept the new municipal structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanes, Niklas & Wikström, Magnus & Wångmar, Erik, 2009. "Municipal preferences for state imposed amalgamations: An empirical study based on the 1952 municipal reform in Sweden," Umeå Economic Studies 763, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0763

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    Local government structure; municipal amalgamations; heterogeneous preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General

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