Bigger but not always better: Size and democracy in Israeli amalgamated local governments

“This study reveals that amalgamation reduces local democracy in terms of voter turnout and representation. The likelihood of having a greater level of local democracy increases in smaller local governments, in terms of population. “

“The new efficiency and democracy approach suggests that a new amalgamated local government must be sufficiently small to maximize local democracy. At the same time, new amalgamated local governments need to be sufficiently large to maximize economies of scale.”

This study discusses the amalgamation of local governments as a method of creating larger and more effective local governments that place fewer burdens on central government budgets. Beyond economies of scale, our findings from a case study of Israel’s 2003 amalgamation plan support the democracy claim. This study uses field research with in-depth interviews to enhance the findings of the empirical analysis.

Published in Journal of Urban Affairs | Rami Zeedan | 2017,,