OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers

1815-1981 (online)
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This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market and social policy studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

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Willem Adema, Marcel Einerhand, Bengt Eklind, Jorgen Lotz, Mark Pearson
01 Jan 1996
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The OECD Social Expenditure data base (SOCX) allows the monitoring of trends in aggregate social expenditure and changes in its composition. But aggregate social expenditure may sometimes fail to reflect the true ‘effort’ of a country in providing social support. Account needs to be taken of the effects of tax systems and transfers which, although mandatory, are not paid by government.

In order to get from a “gross” to a “net” concept of social expenditure various adjustments to raw data are needed. These adjustments concern: methods of benefit payment (“net” or “gross” of tax); the varying extent with which governments use fiscal instruments rather than cash transfers to pursue social policy goals; and the different degree to which government requires other economic agents to provide social expenditures. The analysis also addresses the automatic budget effects related to the stage of the economic cycle.

This analysis is a first attempt to capture in a comprehensive manner the effect ...

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