This article focuses on policies seeking to address social inequalities in metropolitan areas, where the allocation of resources to places with needs often clashes with the politics of redistribution in fragmented local government systems. Scholarship on metropolitan governance has yet to overcome the opposition between proponents of consolidation and defenders of polycentrism. The crucial open question is whether and how intergovernmental cooperation and revenue-sharing can redress spatial equity in institutionally fragmented metropolitan areas. This article addresses this question by exploring the determinants of social expenditures in the 630 municipalities of seven major metropolitan areas in Switzerland, where revenue-sharing systems are common. The analysis shows that intergovernmental grants make a significant but limited contribution to reducing the mismatch between needs and resources in fragmented and decentralized metropolitan areas, depending on the redistributive efforts made by higher state levels.