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Municipal Consolidation and Local Government Behavior: Evidence from Japanese Voting Data on Merger Referenda

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  • Miyazaki, Takeshi

Abstract

The empirical literature investigating the role of key features of local governments regarding decisions on consolidation tends to use a dummy that takes 1 if adjacent local governments decide to merge. Under the estimation method, it is difficult to identify which governments have no incentive to merge. The current study presents an empirical test of decision on consolidation using voting data from Japanese local referenda that distinctively identify the preferences of specific individual municipalities. I find evidence that municipalities that could enjoy large economies of scale from a merger prefer consolidation, and large and small municipalities are likely to merge.

Suggested Citation

  • Miyazaki, Takeshi, 2013. "Municipal Consolidation and Local Government Behavior: Evidence from Japanese Voting Data on Merger Referenda," Discussion Paper Series 588, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hituec:588
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    File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/25675/1/DP588.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ben Lockwood, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 313-337.
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    4. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard, 1996. "Distributional Conflicts, Factor Mobility, and Political Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 99-104, May.
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    6. Rune Sørensen, 2006. "Local government consolidations: The impact of political transaction costs," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 75-95, April.
    7. Johansson, E., 1999. "Intergovernmental Grants As A Tactical Instrument: Some Empirical Evidence from Swedish Municipalities," Papers 1999:10, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    8. 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.
    9. Eric Weese, 2011. "Political Mergers as Coalition Formation," Working Papers 997, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    10. Brasington, David M., 1999. "Joint provision of public goods: the consolidation of school districts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 373-393, September.
    11. 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.
    12. Anna Brink, 2004. "The break-up of municipalities: Voting behavior in local referenda," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 119-135, July.
    13. Dur, Robert & Staal, Klaas, 2008. "Local public good provision, municipal consolidation, and national transfers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 160-173, March.
    14. Poirier, Dale J., 1980. "Partial observability in bivariate probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 209-217, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Boundary reform; economics of scale; local referenda; median voter model; municipal consolidation;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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