Texto para Discussão, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA) 2089
The article analyzes the spatial pattern of public spending in several federative and regional scales. Theoretical considerations show gaps and common concepts to the relationship between federalism and territory. The empirical analysis shows an asymmetric pattern, with small and large municipalities reporting, for different reasons, similar high mean expenditures. The medium-sized cities have per capita spending at minimum point. The findings show the needs for federal arrangements to enhance public action, considering regional living standards specific for meeting the heterogeneous and unequal social and regional demand and to reduce the average cost in the provision of public goods and services.