Municipal Merger and Local Democracy: An Assessment of the Merger of Japanese Municipalities

  • Kohei Suzuki University of Gothenburg, The Quality of Government Institute
  • Hyesong Ha Yonsei University, The Center for Future Government
Keywords: municipal merger, amalgamation, legislative performance, local governemnt, Japan


Municipal mergers have been widely used as a tool for administrative reform. The goal of most municipal mergers is to increase the efficiency of service provision, but their impact on local democracy has been neglected. In particular, little is known as to how mergers affect performance of local legislatures. In filling these gaps, this study uses a dataset of 754 Japanese city-level governments from 2008 to 2014 to examine how mergers influence legislative performance. After controlling for potential confounding factors, the analysis shows that municipal merger is negatively correlated to legislative performance.


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