On the Relationship between Authority Size and the Costs of Providing Local Services: Lessons for the Design of Intergovernmental Transfers in Spain
AbstractUnconditional transfers to local governments in Spain are distributed mainly according to weighted population, with weights rising with population size to account for the higher expenditure responsibilities and needs of bigger municipalities. The authors evaluate the appropriateness of these weights and estimate an expenditure equation with a data set covering more than 2,500 Spanish municipalities in 1999, and the use of a piecewise linear function accounts for the possible nonlinear relationship between costs and population size. The results identify important scale economies for the smallest local authorities and growing per capita costs for higher population sizes. However, the growth in per capita costs is much lower than the one implicit in the weights used in the distribution of transfers.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by in its journal Public Finance Review.
Volume (Year): 33 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
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- Albert Solé Ollé, 2005.
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- Núria Bosch & Marta Espasa & Daniel Montolio, 2013. "Should large Spanish municipalities be financially compensated? Costs and benefits of being a capital/central municipality," Working Papers 2013/6, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
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- Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2012. "Do municipal amalgamations work? Evidence from municipalities in Israel," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 240-251.
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