The Effects of Local Government Amalgamation on Public Spending, Taxation, and Service Levels: Evidence from 15 Years of Municipal Consolidation

“We study how municipal amalgamation affects local government spending, taxation, and service provision in the Netherlands. Employing different models, different control groups, and a number of robustness tests, we find no significant effect on aggregate spending or taxation, although spending on administration is reduced.

We explore whether this finding might hide amalgamation effects working in opposite directions for different types of municipalities (e.g., small versus large, or homogeneous versus heterogeneous), cancelling each other out. This does not seem to be the case. We also investigate whether amalgamation leads to better public services instead of lower spending, but find no evidence.”

M. Allers, J. Geertsema | Sep 1 2016 | Economics | Urban Research eJournal,