Municipal amalgamations and their effects: a literature review

Municipal amalgamations and their effects: a literature review AbstractMunicipal amalgamation reforms have been advocated as ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance capacity in local government service provision. Research on the consequences of amalgamations has reached maturity in terms of theories, research designs and methods, justifying a systematic survey of results. This article provides a synthesis of the empirical literature published over the last 20 years, organizing the effects of amalgamations into three categories: economic efficiency and cost savings, managerial implications, and democratic outcomes. Despite the significant variation across countries and reforms, some regularities emerge: cost savings being primarily limited to general administration expenditures (wages, office supplies, and so on), few changes in the quality of local services, and the diminished quality of local democracy. Several studies point to amalgamation reforms experiencing a trade-off between efficiency and democracy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Miscellanea Geographica de Gruyter

Municipal amalgamations and their effects: a literature review

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2018 University of Warsaw – Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, published by Sciendo
ISSN
2084-6118
eISSN
2084-6118
D.O.I.
10.2478/mgrsd-2018-0005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractMunicipal amalgamation reforms have been advocated as ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance capacity in local government service provision. Research on the consequences of amalgamations has reached maturity in terms of theories, research designs and methods, justifying a systematic survey of results. This article provides a synthesis of the empirical literature published over the last 20 years, organizing the effects of amalgamations into three categories: economic efficiency and cost savings, managerial implications, and democratic outcomes. Despite the significant variation across countries and reforms, some regularities emerge: cost savings being primarily limited to general administration expenditures (wages, office supplies, and so on), few changes in the quality of local services, and the diminished quality of local democracy. Several studies point to amalgamation reforms experiencing a trade-off between efficiency and democracy.

Journal

Miscellanea Geographicade Gruyter

Published: Mar 30, 2018

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