Pauline Mille (CREM) – Municipal mergers and local turnout

Pauline Mille (CREM)

Municipal mergers and local turnout

Abstract :

France, with approximately 36,000 municipalities, stands out among its European neighbors in terms of local administrative units. In the decade, France, like its neighbors, witnessed a significant wave of municipal mergers, aiming to streamline administration and improve efficiency. However, the impact of such mergers on electoral turnout has been a subject of debate in the literature. While some argue that smaller municipalities foster better participation, others advocate for larger ones. Empirical evidence generally suggests that municipal mergers have a negative effect on turnout. This paper contributes to this discourse by examining French municipalities’ data from 2014 to 2020. Employing a differences-in-differences methodology, the study finds that municipal amalgamations generally lead to decreased democratic participation, aligning with broader empirical trends. Additionally, the potential influence of COVID-19 on these dynamics is also taken into account.

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