Municipal Preferences for State-imposed Amalgamations: An Empirical Study Based on the Swedish Municipal Reform of 1952

“This paper concerns municipal preferences for state-imposed municipal amalgamations, focusing on factors that may explain municipal acceptance of, or objection to, a state-imposed amalgamation decision. The empirical analysis is based on the extensive municipal reform that occurred in Sweden in 1952, which reduced the number of municipalities from 2498 to 1037. In 66 per cent of the amalgamated cases, at least one municipality complained.

The results show that income differences affected the willingness to amalgamate; high-income municipalities opposed amalgamation with less wealthy municipalities. The results also indicate that the size (absolute and relative) of the municipalities affected their willingness to amalgamate. Small and large municipalities were most likely to accept the amalgamation decision and equally sized municipalities were less likely to amalgamate voluntarily.”

Published in Urban Studies | N. Hanes | 2012,,