Municipal Amalgamation and the Growth of the Local Public Sector in Sweden

“The proposition that a decentralized structure of local governments can effectively constrain public sector growth is empirically investigated. Data on Swedish municipal sector size for the 1942–87 period are analyzed within the context of a median voter model.

The results indicate that decentralization, measured by the number of units of local government serving a given population, constrains the influence of institutional factors (e.g., rent seeking, bureaucracy) on local budgets as long as these units exceed some minimal threshold size. The findings support the view that communities should be given the flexibility to determine their own ideal pattern of local governments.”

M. A. Nelson | Feb 1 1992 | Political Science | Journal of Regional Science,