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Government at a Glance 2009

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The actions and policies of government touch our daily lives in countless ways. Quantifying and measuring government actions can help leaders make better decisions, and can help to hold government accountable to its citizens. 

Government at a Glance is a new, biennial publication of the OECD providing over 30 indicators describing government performance. It compares the political and institutional frameworks of government across OECD countries, as well as government revenues, expenditures and employment. It also includes indicators describing government policies and practices in integrity, e-government and open government, and introduces several composite indexes summarising key aspects of public management practices in human resource management, budgeting and regulatory management. For each figure, the book provides a dynamic link (StatLink) which directs the user to a web page where the corresponding data are available in Excel® format.

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General government revenues

The amount of revenues collected by countries is related to historical and current political decisions regarding the goods and services governments provide and the way that they are produced. For example, if governments provide support via tax breaks, revenue to gross domestic product (GDP) ratios will be lower. In addition, for OECD member countries that are also members of the European Union, the Maastricht criteria include targets for the size of deficits and debts that may affect the size of revenues in any given year.

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