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Institutional Collective Action and Local Goverance

Richard C. Feiock, Florida State University


This paper was presented at the Creating Collaborative Communities Conference held at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, October 31-November 1, 2005.


This paper elaborates the institutional collective action framework and its applications to cooperative interlocal service agreements among governments in metropolitan areas. It begins by outlining the information, negotiation, enforcement and agency cost that pose obstacles to cooperative interlocal arrangements. Next it identifies how these transaction costs, and the ability of local actors to overcome them, depend on: 1) characteristics of services; 2) characteristics of communities; 3) political institutions; and 4) structures of policy networks. Specific propositions regarding evolution and effectiveness of interlocal cooperation are advanced and an agenda to investigate institutional collective action among local governments is presented.