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Keywords:

  • quasi-experiment;
  • citizen satisfaction;
  • local government;
  • local government consolidations

The article examines the relationship between local government size and satisfaction with the input side and output side of local government. The literature on the relationship between size and satisfaction is extensive, but studies typically focus on structural differences rather than structural change, using traditional cross-sectional methods. The article seeks to remedy this by studying recent municipal mergers in Denmark as a quasi-experiment, using a unique data set consisting of a repeated and a cross-sectional survey of Danish citizens (combined with register data on the municipalities). The article finds that increases in population size have a negative, small to moderately sized effect on citizen satisfaction on both the input and the output side of local government. This implies that although local government consolidations are often motivated on economic grounds, they also have consequences for citizen satisfaction with local government.