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Working paper
Economía Política
Núria Bosch, Marta Espasa, Daniel Montolio

2013/06 : Should large Spanish municipalities be financially compensated? Costs and benefits of being a capital/central municipality

This paper analyse the costs and benefits of being a capital or central municipality, where central costs are understood to be incurred specifically as a result of the problems large municipalities located at the centre of an urban agglomeration face and capital costs are understood to result from the presence of regional and/or central government institutions in the municipality. However, these two qualities might also be beneficial to municipalities, resulting in a direct increase in their fiscal capacity. Here, by estimating an equation of the expenditure needs and the fiscal capacity of Spanish municipalities with more than 75,000 inhabitants, we find that the central costs incurred by large municipalities are offset by their greater fiscal capacity, but that the same is not true for municipalities that serve as political/administrative capitals.

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