The necessity of an administrative-territorial reform in a country: the case of Estonia. Administratiiv-territoriaalse reformi vajadus riigis: Eesti juhtum

  • Janno Reiljan
  • Aivo Ülper
Keywords: optimal size of municipalities, local governments’ financial potential, local political development, amalgamation, local government reform, local government efficiency

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to analyze the theoretical, political and organizational bases of the territorial division of the country into municipalities as well as empirical data of Estonian municipalities and offer a research direction for identifying conceptual solutions to the development problems in Estonian municipalities. The analysis of the theoretical approaches to municipal size pointed out that they are fragmented and incompatible. Some authors support small municipalities, and others large. The theoretical reasoning of both those directions is often strongly simplified and biased and a unified metatheoretical approach has not been established. The empirical analysis revealed that there is no empirical evidence to confirm either the presence of significant size related advantages among municipalities or the existence of an optimal municipal size considering current municipal functions and financing. The lack of theoretical and empirical evidence on the necessity for administrativeterritorial reform means that merging municipalities alone cannot significantly improve the public service delivery capacities and economic and democratic development of Estonian municipalities and that future studies should focus on analyzing public services from the perspective of their economic efficiency, quality and accessibility, and in doing so, determine the optimal size of regions for providing the various public services.

Author Biographies

Janno Reiljan
University of Tartu
Aivo Ülper
University of Tartu
How to Cite
Reiljan, J., & Ülper, A. (1). The necessity of an administrative-territorial reform in a country: the case of Estonia. Administratiiv-territoriaalse reformi vajadus riigis: Eesti juhtum. Estonian Discussions on Economic Policy, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.15157/tpep.v19i1.434
Section
Articles. Artikeln. Artiklid