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Urban economics

There have been piling pressures for counties and other political jurisdictions to merge but with little success, instead they have continually grown. The key determinant of the size as well as the number of jurisdictions is the variation as well as tradeoffs between possible economies of scale arising from increased size and heterogeneity. People are happy to forego racial economies of scale that would come with merging in preference for both racial, religious and income homogeneity in their jurisdictions.

This is not out of xenophobia rather it stems from a preference for similar public goods and the natural desire to be among people with common interest and characteristics. Division along income lines naturally occur owing to the people’s desire to avoid the redistribution effect resulting from financing local public goods (Ahmad & Brosio, 2008). Division of the locations into homogenous social and economic groups makes it better for authorities to target public services to better satisfy the population.

Not least because residents would be more aware of government activities but the small nature of the jurisdictions make it possible for evaluation of the services and comparisons with other areas. In addition, it is more efficient to divide up the metropolitan since this would cut back the costs of public services by preventing spillovers to different political jurisdictions and are designed in such a manner to optimize scale economies.

The divisions as well as well make politicians more accountable tot their electorate and thusly offer public services in a more efficient manner as compared to wide less differentiated jurisdictions which would bring public servants and politicians without local touch leading to inefficiency. On the darker side, the possible redistribution effect that would potentially result from the membership to different jurisdictions, not to mention the fragmentation would overwhelm the citizenry with elections upon elections of public officials as well as policy.

The only way to maximize economies of scale and ensure that the diseconomies are internalized is to plan macro economically rather than breaking up the planning process. The most efficient approach to the determination of the optimal geographical area must take into consideration both the policy coherence, efficiency as well as financial and technical aspects of the divisions.

Policies must have subsidiarity; complement each other while any jurisdictional splits of consolidation must meet the budgetary constraints. Economic efficiency would be guaranteed would require balancing off heterogeneity with the economies of scale. There should be devolution enough to bring government closer to the people and ensure that people areas homogenous as can be possible while at once ensuring economies of scale are not lost through increased fragmentation.

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