A Research Agenda for Assessing the Impact of Fragmented Governance on Southwestern Pennsylvania

by Sally Sleeper, Henry H. Willis, Stephen Rattien, Adrienn Lanczos


Full Document

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback44 pages $18.00 $14.40 20% Web Discount

The large number of municipal governments in Allegheny County is a derivative of Pennsylvania’s governance structure and history. This structure provides for strong representation at the local government level. The anticipated benefit of this structure is a greater sense of local “ownership,” encouraging local government to be responsive to constituent demands. However, local representation also includes government fragmentation, with potential costs in the form of inefficiency and conflicting intercommunity goals. The RAND Corporation was asked to begin to explore and create a framework for studying the effects of Pennsylvania’s locally dominated governance structure on regional performance and to identify potential lessons for Allegheny County from the experiences of other regions. Drawing from the literature, case studies, and local economic data sets, the authors investigated the empirical validity of two questions to understand whether they are worth pursuing in greater depth: Does multiplicity of local governance create inefficiencies in the cost, coverage, and quality of delivered services? Does this multiplicity inhibit timely and comprehensive decisionmaking for regional economic development? The authors conclude that the challenge facing the region is to assess whether a new vision for local governance can define a structure that provides efficient services, balances resources equitably, and positions the region to compete in the global market.

The research described in this report was conducted for the Heinz Endowments by RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE), a unit of the RAND Corporation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.