Collaboration Risk and the Choice to Consolidate Local Government Services

Journal Article

Abstract Collaboration among local governments occurs through a range of mechanisms, which vary in degree of formality from contracts and ad hoc agreements to full consolidation. Prior work indicates that local decision makers favor formal mechanisms when expected gains from less formal collaboration may not be realized. This article explicates the concept of collaboration risk, treating it as a product of the likelihood that collaboration fails and the severity of consequences should failure occur. We examine how characteristics of a local service contribute to collaboration risk and thereby influence the choice to consolidate service delivery. Focusing on the case of drinking water provision, we identify physical and financial features of service delivery that contribute to the likelihood and severity of collaboration failure. Drawing on seven case studies of water system consolidation, we then analyze the importance of these service characteristics in the choice to enter into consolidation agreements.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hansen, K; Mullin, M; Riggs, EK

Published Date

  • August 27, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 223 - 238

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2398-4929

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2398-4910

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/ppmgov/gvz017


  • en