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Inter-municipal cooperation in administrative tasks– the role of population dynamics and elections


  • Ivo Bischoff

    () (University of Kassel)

  • Eva Wolfschuetz

    () (University of Kassel)


We analyze the factors driving the emergence of inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) in tasks of internal administration in West-Germany between 2001 and 2014. In line with the Institutional Collective Action Approach, we find similarities in political ideology to foster cooperation. Cost pressure drives IMC. Given substantial cost hysteresis in administrative tasks, we expect IMC to be more frequent among shrinking municipalities. Our results supports this notion. However, there is no evidence that municipalities make use of complementarities from divergent population dynamics. We apply a hazard model that allows us to analyze the timing of IMC arrangements. We find state subsidies for IMC are an important driving force behind IMC. IMC agreements are less likely to emerge in election years when municipalities face low cost pressure while the opposite is true for municipalities with high cost pressure.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivo Bischoff & Eva Wolfschuetz, 2019. "Inter-municipal cooperation in administrative tasks– the role of population dynamics and elections," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201905, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201905

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edoardo Di Porto & Angela Parenti & Sonia Paty & Zineb Abidi, 2017. "Local government cooperation at work: a control function approach," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 435-463.
    2. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2016. "Electoral competition and endogenous political institutions: Quasi-experimental evidence from Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 43-61.
    3. Di Liddo, Giuseppe & Giuranno, Michele G., 2016. "Asymmetric yardstick competition and municipal cooperation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 64-66.
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:4553034 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & Caroline Hoxby, 2004. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 348-396, April.
    6. Germà Bel & Marianna Sebo, 2018. "“Does inter-municipal cooperation really reduce delivery costs? An empirical evaluation of the role of scale economies, transaction costs, and governance arrangements”," IREA Working Papers 201816, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jul 2018.
    7. Germà Bel & Mildred E. Warner, 2016. "Factors explaining inter-municipal cooperation in service delivery: a meta-regression analysis," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 91-115, June.
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    More about this item


    Inter-municipal cooperation; public administration; elections; hazard model; Germany; survey;

    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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