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Using data on the adoption of e-government, reinventing government, and strategic practices, and
the Nelson and Svara (2010) typology of municipal government form, the authors investigate the
characteristics of municipal governments that are related to the implementation of innovative
practices. The authors find that higher innovation rates are associated with council-manager
governments—both with and without an elected mayor, higher population, greater growth,
lower unemployment, sunbelt location, and higher population density. Controlling for all other
variables, form of government (and variations within form) account for the greatest explanation
of the adoption of innovative practices in municipalities. The authors conclude that form of
government remains an important variable to consider when investigating local government
management and performance.

Cite as:

Nelson, K.L. and Svara, James H. (2012). Form of Government Still Matters: Fostering Innovation in U.S. Municipal Governments.

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James Svara, Kimberly L. Nelson
Forms of Government