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Does Inter-municipal Cooperation promote efficiency gains? Evidence from Italian Municipal

Author

Listed:
  • Massimiliano Ferraresi

    () (European Commission - DG JRC Directorate I Competences - Modelling, Indicators and Impact Evaluation Unit)

  • Giuseppe Migali

    () (Lancaster University Management School)

  • Leonzio Rizzo

    () (Università di Ferrara)

Abstract

Inter-municipal cooperation is a widespread phenomenon among municipalities as a way to provide local public services, exploit economies of scale and internalise externalities. While the determinants driving the decision to cooperate have been deeply analyzed in the literature, little is known about possible efficiency gains. We test their existence in terms of local public expenditures reductions by investigating the Italian experience of Municipal Unions. We exploit unique administrative data on 335 municipalities located in the Emilia Romagna region, for the period 2001-2011. Using a difference-in-differences approach combined with matching models, we find that being in a Municipal Union reduces the total per capita current expenditures by around 5%. The effect is robust, persistent and increasing up to nine years after entrance. Furthermore, joining a Municipal Union does not reduce the level of local public services. Hence, the Municipal Union is an effective tool that allows municipalities to gain efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipu:wpaper:59
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Municipal Union cooperation; public expenditure; difference-in-differences; matching;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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