Municipality-level Panel Data and Municipal Mergers in Japan

Author Name KONDO Keisuke (Senior Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. February 2023 23-T-001
Research Project RIETI Data Management Project
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This paper explains a method of constructing municipality-level panel data for Japan for the period of 1980–2020. Municipal mergers conducted in the mid-2000s, which are collectively known as “the Great Mergers in the Heisei era,” resulted in a reduction of almost half of the number of Japanese municipalities. The significant changes in administrative borders resulting from these municipal merges cause difficulties in constructing municipality-level panel data. To address this problem, this paper proposes a method of aggregating municipalities as a collective geographical unit that remains identical over decades.

This is the English version of the Japanese Technical Paper (19-T-001) with some additional information and changes.