Have you ever wondered why it is so uncommon for political bodies to make exchanges of political jurisdictions? While it is a regular occurrence for the owners of real property to swap deeds and claims to property, I am not very familiar with how common this is among the U.S. states.
For example, there are a whole slew of towns and villages along the New York / Pennsylvania border near where I live. And logic suggests that there is at least one geographic area in each state that might make more sense if it were governed by the other. After all, when the boundary lines were first “drawn” this is what the decision had to be based on, no? So why do we see so little shuffling around of “property” after those initial boundary lines are drawn?
I suppose you can talk about political gerrymandering and changing school-district authorities as a simple counter-example to my question, but I am thinking more along the lines of: “Pennsylvania trades the city of Bradford to NY in exchange for the city of Olean.” Of course there are enormous transactions costs, as there are in any trade – but that does not mean that some trades are not “worth” enough to overcome such costs.
Any ideas? And would you want to live in a city if you knew it could be “traded” away to another state some time in the future?