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Abstract

The rural areas of the United States have experienced a proliferation of quasi-governmental institutions over the past three decades. The formation of such institutions represents an important form of local boundary change. Local boundaries determine service delivery, economic development, and intergovernmental relationships. It remains unclear, though, how the process of boundary change unfolds. Using federal and state data, I examine the ability of four general explanations of boundary change to account for the proliferation of economic development corporations across North Dakota and South Dakota. I find that their creation is not driven by economic change or need, but is more associated with property taxes per capita.

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