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Interlocal energy collaboration builds upon network structures among local policy actors dealing with energy, climate change and sustainability issues. Collaboration efforts overcome institutional collective action (ICA) dilemmas, and cope with the problems spanning jurisdictional boundaries, externalities, and free-rider problems. Interlocal energy collaboration emerges as the agreements in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction, pollution control, land use, purchasing, retrofits, transportation, and so forth. Cities work collaboratively through contractual mechanisms (i.e. formal/informal agreements) and collective mechanisms (i.e. regional partnerships or membership organizations) on a variety of energy issues. What factors facilitate interlocal energy collaboration? To what extent is collaboration through interlocal contractual mechanisms different from collective mechanisms? This dissertation tries to answer these questions by examining: city goal priority on energy related issues as well as other ICA explanatory factors. Research data are drawn mainly from the 2010 national survey "Implementation of energy efficiency and sustainability program" supported by National Science Foundation and the IBM Endowment for the Business of Government. The research results show that city emphasis on common pool resource, scale economies and externality issues significantly affect individual selection of tools for energy collaboration. When expected transaction costs are extremely high or low, the contractual mechanism of informal agreement is more likely to be selected to preserve most local autonomy and flexibility; otherwise, written and formal tools for collaboration are preferred to impose constraints on individual behavior and reduce the risks of defection.
Interlocal Collaboration, Energy Policy, Sustainable Development, Climate Protection
Date of Defense
July 7, 2011.
A Dissertation submitted to the Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Richard C. Feiock, Professor Directing Dissertation; Kaifeng Yang, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; David Cartes, University Representative; Tingting Zhao, Committee Member; Frances Stokes Berry, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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