Research Publication Title

Do Voter Demographics Affect the Passage of County-City Government Consolidation?

Major

Political Science, Economics, and Public Administration

Faculty Mentor(s)

Brooke Conaway, JJ Arias, Chris Clark

Keywords

government consolidation, local government, voter demographics, elections

Abstract

The United States boasts over 20,000 municipal governments working alongside nearly 3,000 county governments under 50 state governments. According to the National Association of Counties, there have been only 40 successful city-county consolidation attempts in the last 200 years. By utilizing county, state, and national-level variables and by examining the measures that have both passed and failed, we will use a regression model in order to estimate the impact of voter demographics on government consolidation measures. This study hopes to bring light to a shortcoming of consolidation, which is the overall lack of available information and resources on this topic. I expected to find that race and the political affiliation of the governor at the time of the election have an effect on the passage of consolidation measures. However, the OLS estimation found that not one of the independent variables were statistically significant at an appropriate confidence level, which is believed to be the result of a measurement error and the small number of observations.

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Do Voter Demographics Affect the Passage of County-City Government Consolidation?

The United States boasts over 20,000 municipal governments working alongside nearly 3,000 county governments under 50 state governments. According to the National Association of Counties, there have been only 40 successful city-county consolidation attempts in the last 200 years. By utilizing county, state, and national-level variables and by examining the measures that have both passed and failed, we will use a regression model in order to estimate the impact of voter demographics on government consolidation measures. This study hopes to bring light to a shortcoming of consolidation, which is the overall lack of available information and resources on this topic. I expected to find that race and the political affiliation of the governor at the time of the election have an effect on the passage of consolidation measures. However, the OLS estimation found that not one of the independent variables were statistically significant at an appropriate confidence level, which is believed to be the result of a measurement error and the small number of observations.