There is high interest in economic development efforts involving cooperation or collaboration among metropolitan jurisdictions. To determine why some local governments engage in cooperative agreements while others do not, this paper investigates transaction obstacles, including bargaining, information, agency, enforcement, and division problems. The authors then advance an institutional collective action explanation for intergovernmental cooperation, focusing on the conditions under which these transactions costs are low. This work anticipates that the costs associated with interlocal cooperation are influenced by the demographic characteristics of communities, local political institutions, and the nature of regional government networks. Empirical analysis based on a national survey of local development officials provides support for several predictions from this model and identifies policy variables that, in turn, increase the prospects for cooperation, specifically through the development of informal policy networks.