Journal of Management & Governance

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 887–906 | Cite as

Incentivising inter-municipal collaboration: the Lombard experience



The purpose of this exploratory research is to show how incentive policies have helped to shape the scenario of inter-municipal partnerships in the Italian region of Lombardy. Do these policies really work? Have they been the driver of greater collaboration among municipalities? Overall, the impact of the financial subsidies can be seen mainly when the intended beneficiaries are involved in the stages of negotiation and commitment that precede the setting-up of the collaborative arrangements. However, the capacity of the incentives to ensure that collaborative efforts are effectively maintained and developed over time is questionable. Importantly, the incentives do not seem to make a real difference in the collaborative choices aimed at joint policy-making and regulation. This qualitative study extends the evaluation research on implementation and contributes to the partnership management debate.


Local government Incentive policies Implementation Inter-municipal collaboration Partnerships 



The authors would like to thank Alessandro Bianchi for his support in gathering and processing the data shown in Fig. 1. The authors also thank the guest Editors and the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions. While the article is the joint product of the authors, in the final drafting, Sect. 4 was written by Massimo Simonetta, the other sections by Maddalena Sorrentino, and Sect. 7 was jointly written. An earlier version of this article was presented at the 10th EURAM Conference held on 19–22 May 2010 in Rome.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze economiche, aziendali e statisticheUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Ancitel LombardiaCologno MonzeseItaly

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