Institutional Ties, Interlocal Contractual Arrangements, and the Dynamic of Metropolitan Governance
Andrew, Simon Anak (author)
Feiock, Richard C. (professor directing dissertation)
Scholz, John T. (outside committee member)
Berry, Frances S. (committee member)
Brower, Ralph S. (committee member)
School of Public Administration and Policy (degree granting department)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
This dissertation examines the dynamic of metropolitan governance in terms of interlocal contractual arrangements that govern the delivery of collective goods by local government. It views a metropolitan area as buzzing with contractual activities and observes that these activities are nested at different levels in a web of interlocal relations in an action arena. That is, local governments involved in contractual activities are connected through their contractual arrangements--forming what we refer to as institutional ties. An interconnected network of institutional ties represents a pattern of relations between local governments. Such a network structure is not static but evolves over time. These changes can be purely structural--explained by an endogenous mechanism such as a transitivity form of network structure, or exogenous, explained by such factors as a local government's political institutions (form of government or levels of government), geographical proximity, and demographic characteristics. In order to understand the different forms of formal and informal institutional arrangements that directly influence the formation of institutional ties, and indirectly, the formation of metropolitan governance, this dissertation is guided by four research questions: (1) what are the many forms of institutional arrangements used by local governments to govern their transactions? (2) through what process do institutional arrangements become acceptable by involved parties? (3) how and why could the stability of institutional arrangements in governing interlocal relations be undermined? and (4) how would a new form of institutional arrangement be established? While the first two sets of questions attempt to identify and examine the many types of interlocal contractual arrangements, the last two sets explain how the established institutional arrangements might be changed. The substantive focus of this dissertation is in the realm of public safety which, once produced, will be consumed by others at no additional marginal cost. There are a range of interlocal contractual arrangements found in the area of public safety, and Florida provides a research opportunity to examine the extent by which these arrangements have been used by local governments. To capture the multiple types of interlocal contractual arrangements used by local governments to govern their transactions, we classify them into two general forms: restrictive and adaptive contractual arrangements. The first analysis of this dissertation explores factors that explain local governments' institutional choice. The empirical results show that vertical intergovernmental relations involving municipal and county governments generally employed a restrictive rather than adaptive form of interlocal contracting. The analysis also shows that the characteristics of goods and services as the product of transaction costs influenced the forms of interlocal contractual arrangements in the provision of public safety. Functional service area and the number of collaborators involved also play an important role in explaining a local government's decisions to enter into particular forms of interlocal contractual arrangements. We then focused on the adaptive and restrictive forms of contractual arrangements as distinctive action arenas in the provision of public safety. Each form of contractual arrangement is treated as a distinctive form of metropolitan governance; and we seek to analyze their formation over a period of time using the network software for longtidudinal data sets called SIENA. For this particular analysis, four major metropolitan areas in Florida were selected: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach MSA, Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater MSA, Orlando-Kissimmee MSA, and Duval-Jacksonville MSA. The analysis is designed to test two general propositions: the credibility-clustering and the information bridging hypotheses. The empirical results suggest that localities generally prefer to form a set of densely-connected institutional ties in the provision of public safety presumably for their ability to enforce credible commitment in the implementation of contractual activities. When outcomes of goods and services are difficult to measure requiring local governments to establish institutional ties based on the adaptive form of contractual arrangements, the empirical evidence supports the prediction of the credibility-clustering hypothesis that such metropolitan governance structures would be influenced by a dense network structure. On the other hand, the evidence seems to refute the information-bridging hypothesis that a sparse network structure exists in metropolitan governance that is based on a restrictive form of contractual arrangements. A set of institutional ties that consists of a restrictive form of contractual arrangements generally would display a densely-connected network structure rather than a sparse network structure. Other findings include the importance of multilateral agreements in influencing the dynamic process of institutional ties. That is, the transaction costs of multilateral agreement can lead to a crowding-out of bilateral agreements. The political institutions and local community characteristics also have an impact on the dynamic development of metropolitan governance.
Regional Governance, Interlocal Agreement, Network Analysis, Institutional Collective Action
Date of Defense: August 1, 2006.
A Dissertation submitted to the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University