Local council members’ view on intermunicipal cooperation: does office-related self-interest matter?
This paper analyzes data from a survey among local council members in 59 German municipalities. It asks them whether or not their home municipality should cooperate with neighbouring municipalities in the provision of public services such as childcare or road maintenance. Their answers are clearly driven by office-related self-interest. Delegates who have more political power and thus have more to lose if their home municipality cooperates are more likely to oppose intermunicipal cooperation. This interpretation receives further backing by the fact that delegates’ support for intermunicipal cooperation increases with the population size of their home municipality but decreases with the size of its neighbours.