Government at a Glance 2011

image of Government at a Glance 2011

This second edition of Government at a Glance more than doubles the number of available indicators of OECD governments’ performance. The indicators compare the political and institutional frameworks of government across OECD countries as well as government revenues and expenditures, employment, and compensation. They also include indicators describing government policies and practices on integrity, e-government and open government, and introduce several composite indexes summarising key aspects of public management practices in human resources management, budgeting, procurement, and regulatory management. For each figure, the book provides a dynamic link (StatLink) which direct the user to a web page where corresponding data are available in Excel® format. The report also offers two special chapters, on leveraged governance and on the policy implications of fiscal consolidation.

The 58 data sets of member and partner countries in this 2011 edition of Government at a Glance include the first ever international comparison of public sector pay for selected professions and public service occupations, which points to a fairly egalitarian pay structure in the public sector;  estimations of country-specific fiscal consolidation requirements, which have been found to be large in many countries; the level of disclosure of private interests in the three branches of government; and  the implementation gap of Open Government policies to promote transparency, efficiency and trust.

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Greater fairness through selected government policies

One important responsibility of governments is ensuring that the benefits of economic growth and development are shared across society. Income inequality in the population increased in almost two-thirds of OECD countries between the mid-1980s and mid-2000s. There is no agreement, however, on how much equality or inequality in income distribution is “optimal”. Complete equality in the distribution of economic resources is neither attainable nor beneficial in terms of economic growth, and non-market mechanisms for income redistribution can reduce incentives to work and save. On the other hand, more unequal countries generally have higher poverty rates and worse aggregate educational and health outcomes, and higher levels of inequality can threaten long-term growth prospects.

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