Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/110327
Authors: 
Bruns, Benjamin
Freier, Ronny
Schumann, Abel
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
DIW Discussion Papers 1467
Abstract: 
We study political determinants of municipality amalgamations during a boundary reform in the German state of Brandenburg, which reduced the number of municipalities from 1,489 to 421. The analysis is conducted using data on the political decision makers as well as fiscal and socio-economic variables for the municipalities. We ask whether party representation in the town council influences the merger decision. To identify the effect, we follow a dual approach and make use of different stages in the reform process. First, municipalities were initially free to choose partners. In a later phase of the reform the state legislature forced municipalities to amalgamate. We can, thus, compare voluntary to forced units. Second, we simulate potential mergers from the map of municipalities and compare voluntary mergers to those simulated units. Both approaches show that political representation matters significantly during the voluntary stage of the merger reform.
Subjects: 
municipality mergers
political decision makers probit analysis
geospatial analysis
JEL: 
H10
H11
H77
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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