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Analysis Of The Decentralization Of Public Spending In Spain

PFM, Vol. 1 No. 4, (2001)

This paper studies the decentralization process of public
spending in Spain, which has been one of the main landmarks in
recent years, and not only in Spain but also in many different
countries. The classical assumption to speak about this kind of
processes is the theory of fiscal federalism. However, nowadays this
theory is considered more as a set of general "guidelines" than a
practical rule of application.
To undertake this study the article proposes a new method to
describe the outcomes of the decentralization process through the
functional classification of spending. The analysis of the data in each
level of government -central, regional and local- is made in order to
justify the process. So far, mainly political motives have justified the
transference of competencies from the central to the regional and local
governments in Spain. The fiscal federalism theory can enlighten our
analysis from a theoretical point of view.

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