Evaluating municipal mergers’ effects : A review of amalgamation studies in the Netherlands

“Many European countries have gone through processes of amalgamation of municipalities that have fundamentally changed the face of local governance. The question how to assess outcomes of amalgamations has remained under-explored. In this paper, we review the collection of evaluation studies that are available in the Netherlands, which has a long history of evaluating amalgamation outcomes.

Those studies show that amalgamations have consistently not produced the increase in the system capacity of local government that policymakers anticipate and that scale economies should not be taken for granted. The negative effects of amalgamation on citizen effectiveness seem to be more evident. The authors evaluate the quality of existing studies and point to the need for a reconsideration of the study of amalgamation, because the importance of municipal size has been overestimated and evaluation methods can be improved substantially.”

L. Schaap | 2016 | Political Science, Economics, https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Evaluating-municipal-mergers%E2%80%99-effects-%3A-A-review-of-Schaap/aca4d0c5282f48cbb865bcc6cb3428de40f87b8f