Voter turnout and municipal amalgamations: Evidence from Denmark

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Yosef Bhatti, Kasper M. Hansen

The study utilizes evidence from the Danish 2007 municipal reform to inquire into the relationship between municipal amalgamations and voter turnout, that is, the classical discussion on size and democracy. The Danish municipal reform is particularly suited for investigating the relationship as a large number of units were merged due to reasons thought to be unrelated with the democratic performance while others were left unchanged. This allows us to investigate the relationship in a quasi-experimental setup. The study finds some evidence of a short-term positive effect on turnout and only limited evidence of a medium- to long-term negative effect when comparing amalgamated and non-amalgamated municipalities. However, stronger indications of negative effects on turnout are found when considering the intensity of the amalgamations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLocal Government Studies
Volume45
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)697-723
ISSN0300-3930
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • amalgamation, jurisdiction size, participation, quasi-experiment, Voter turnout

ID: 214506408