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Drivers and Barriers of Inter-Municipal Cooperation in Health Services – The Norwegian Case

Local Government Studies. ISSN 0300-3930


Inter-municipal cooperation in service delivery is widespread, as is the notion that this type of cooperation is primarily driven by economies of scale. However, the empirical results appear to be inconclusive, suggesting that additional explanatory factors are needed to explain why municipalities cooperate. This study aimed to identify the factors and conditions that influence the level of inter-municipal cooperation in health services by exploring a broad set of explanatory factors that go beyond simple economic concerns. In addition to confirming that a small population-size and fiscal stress constitute important drivers of inter-municipal cooperation, the results from this study also demonstrates the need to consider geographical location and heterogeneity relative to neighbouring municipalities as potential barriers to such cooperation.