Municipal incorporation in the United States

“Main findings are that income heterogeneity raises the probability of municipal incorporation and state restrictions on local government autonomy lower that probability.”

This article empirically examines the formation of municipalities in the USA. It traces change in unincorporated areas over decades to determine how basic dimensions of population heterogeneity affect the probability of municipal incorporation. The article also examines how state legislation on local government autonomy affect the probability of municipal incorporation.

To guide the research, this article follows theory on local government boundary change and the Tiebout hypothesis – literatures interested in the role of municipal fragmentation in tax-and-service differentials within metropolitan areas. I present a boundaries-normalised data set that can be useful for research extensions.

Published in Urban Studies | Agustín León-Moreta | 2015,,