City–County Consolidations

“The authors conclude that little empirical research exists to suggest that city–county consolidations actually increase efficiency, promote economic development, or increase equity.”

This essay explores city–county consolidations and the extent of alignment between the advantages promised by consolidation advocates and the performance of such government structures. Peer-reviewed research specifically bearing on city–county consolidations is presented together with supporting research on the consolidation of local governments in general. The performance of such consolidations is evaluated on three dimensions: efficiency in service delivery, promotion of economic development, and increased equity in terms of urban/suburban disparities and the impact on ethnic minority representation.

Published in State and Local Government Review | Lawrence L. Martin | 2011,