Regional Integration Through Contracting Networks: An Empirical Analysis of Institutional Collection Action Framework

Simon Andrew, University of North Texas

Document Type Article


This paper advances two general hypotheses to examine how local governments choose to interact with their contracting partners and with whom they form contractual ties through interjurisdictional agreements. The transaction costs associated with goods and services are important factors in these decisions: First, risks of opportunism associated with high asset specificity lead local governments to selectively enter into contracts with only a few “high status” actors, leading to a sparse network structure that is dominated by a few central actors. Second, measurement difficulties create enforcement and monitoring problems, but through a process of “preferential attachment,” local governments would enter into contracts with partners of their partners in order to pool resources and reduce commitment risks. The general hypotheses are tested using interjurisdictional agreements for law enforcement activities linking 66 actors in the Orlando-Kissimmee metropolitan area over 5 time periods (i.e., between 1986 and 2003). Using simulation investigation network analysis (SIENA) techniques, the results provide strong statistical support for these hypotheses.