1887

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

Restructuring Welfare Spending in Slovenia

Restoring fiscal sustainability is a major challenge in Slovenia. Yet, the performance in terms of expenditure control is poor and public expenditure on social spending increased briskly during the crisis, significantly more than on average across the OECD. Despite recent progress in reforming the pension system, Slovenia continues to face major age-related spending pressures. Reforming the welfare state would help achieve fiscal consolidation, increase the quality of fiscal adjustment and address long-term fiscal sustainability challenges. This could be done without significantly worsening income inequality, which is low in Slovenia. Despite recent progress, cash transfers do not seem to be sufficiently means tested. Partly driven by generous social transfers, average effective tax rates on returning to work from inactivity and unemployment are high and could be further cut gradually. Efficiency frontier analysis suggests there is scope to improve spending efficiency without undermining the quality of in kind services on secondary education, health care and public administration. There is excess capacity in pre-school and compulsory education and the allocation of tertiary education services is regressive. The delivery of health care could be improved by rationalising inpatient care and enhancing costeffective primary care, which would generate savings in the medium term. Further increasing the effective retirement age and reforming the financing of health and long-term care are the main policy priorities to contain the pressure of population ageing on expenditure. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Review of Slovenia (http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/slovenia-2013.htm).

English

Keywords: welfare spending, cash transfers, pension system, fiscal consolidation, Slovenia, sustainability, education, in-kind benefits, health, long-term care
JEL: I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health; H62: Public Economics / National Budget, Deficit, and Debt / National Deficit; Surplus; J65: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers / Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings; I28: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education: Government Policy; J26: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Retirement; Retirement Policies; J14: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination; I38: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
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