Thursday, July 30, 2009

City-County Merger Study shows No Economic Development Benefits

While local leaders like Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl support a city-county merger because of increased economic development, a recent study by a Ball State researcher says there aren’t such benefits.

Dagney Faulk, research director at Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research, says statistics from three consolidated areas that merged in the mid 1990s show no signs of increased economic development, although supporters often use that aspect as a primary argument. She says the study focused on the change of total employment and the change in the number of businesses established before and after a merger, and there were not any visible differences.

However, Faulk says this doesn’t mean there aren’t any benefits, citing increased accountability, lower cost of government and increased citizens’ satisfaction.

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