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Citizens‘ support for inter-municipal cooperation: evidence from a survey in the German state of Hesse

Author

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  • Christian Bergholz

    () (University of Kassel)

  • Ivo Bischoff

    () (University of Kassel)

Abstract

Inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) is promoted as a way in which small, fiscally weak municipalities can cope with intensified interregional competition and demographic change. We provide first evidence on citizens’ support for IMC using survey data from rural Germany. We cover different fields of public services and find the support for IMC to be lower for services where IMC implies intensified interaction with citizens from neighboring municipalities. The main research question asks whether citizens’ support for IMC is larger in municipalities that can – by the logic of normative theory – expect higher net benefits from IMC. The answer is largely negative: While support for IMC decreases in the travel-time to neighboring municipalities, we do not find the support for IMC to be higher among citizens in small and/or fiscally weak municipalities, nor do we find the available of suitable partners to matter. At the same time, citizens’ policy preferences strongly depends on individual-level factors. Believing that IMC reduces citizens’ influence and control reduces the support for IMC substantially. Trust in local politicians and a high degree of emotional attachment to the home municipality reduce citizens’ support for IMC.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Bergholz & Ivo Bischoff, 2016. "Citizens‘ support for inter-municipal cooperation: evidence from a survey in the German state of Hesse," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201643, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201643
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    File URL: https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/paper_2016/43-2016_bergholz.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Bergholz & Ivo Bischoff, 2016. "Local council members’ view on inter-municipal cooperation: Does office-related self interest matter?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201647, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal federalism; inter-municipal cooperation; voter preferences; survey; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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