Declining population and rising costs for municipal services
Population decrease in many East-German towns and municipalities does not only increase the stock of empty residential buildings. It also makes provision of network-related goods and services more costly. Considering public water and sewerage services as example, the article investigates empirically how costs of provision per inhabitant depend on population number and -density. Diverging from similar studies, spatial differences in distribution costs per inhabitant are calculated within the area of a case study municipality. The calculations are based on cost accounting data of the local provider. A central problem is the choice of an appropriate spatial key figure to allocate costs. The results indicate cost advantages in providing densely populated quarters with network-related services. Consequently, rising per-capita costs should be taken into account to a greater extent for the city conversion programmes in East Germany than they have been up to now.