Article: article from journal or magazin.
Welfare loss with municipal amalgamations and the willingness-to-pay for the municipality name
Local Government Studies
Functional advantages and drawbacks are commonly mentioned to rationally justify or condemn municipality amalgamations. However, many consolidation projects are resisted by local governments or citizens on the grounds that amalgamation would dampen local identity. A municipality's name change is probably the most visible sign of the loss of community bond experienced by citizens at amalgamation time. This article aims to put a value on this loss by measuring citizen willingness to pay for their city name. This methodological approach innovates upon the literature on municipal amalgamation and place branding by exploiting the versatility of the so-called contingent valuation method (CVM). CVM confronts respondents, in a survey setting, with a hypothetical market in which a characteristic of interest is exchanged. Here the characteristic is the possibility to retain one's city name for an amalgamated jurisdiction. The article presents the estimates provided by a survey conducted in four Swiss cities.
Municipal amalgamation, city name, local identity, place branding, willingness-to-pay, contingent valuation
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