OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Managing Public Expenditure

The UK Approach

The UK medium-term budgetary framework introduced in 1997 addressed a number of weaknesses of the former regime, notably a bias against capital expenditure and, more generally, poor conditions for longerterm planning adversely affecting central government spending departments, local authorities and public enterprises. Departmental spending was indeed characterised by pronounced swings and capital spending was squeezed to very low levels. These weaknesses are considered the major cause for the poor performance of crucial public services. The present paper discusses the new budgetary framework and examines the scope for further improvement ...


Keywords: public sector efficiency, budget systems, fiscal policy
JEL: D61: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics / Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis; H40: Public Economics / Publicly Provided Goods / Publicly Provided Goods: General; H11: Public Economics / Structure and Scope of Government / Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government; H61: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / Budget; Budget Systems; E62: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook / Fiscal Policy
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