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Government at a Glance 2013

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Government at a Glance 2013 provides readers with a dashboard of key indicators assembled with the goal of contributing to the analysis and international comparison of public sector performance. Indicators on government revenues, expenditures, and employment are provided alongside key output and outcome data in the sectors of education and health. Government at a Glance also includes indicators on key governance and public management issues, such as transparency in governance, regulatory governance, new ways in delivering public services and HRM and compensation practices in the public service. While measuring government performance has long been recognized as playing an important role in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the public administration, following the economic crisis and fiscal tightening in many member countries, good indicators are needed more than ever to help governments make informed decisions regarding tough choices and help restore confidence in government institutions.

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General government revenues

Governments collect revenues mainly for two purposes: to finance the goods and services they deliver to citizens and businesses and to fulfil their redistributive role. Major sources of revenues of governments are taxes collected from households and corporations as well as social contributions. Comparing levels of government revenues across OECD member countries, as a share of GDP or per capita, provides an indication of the importance of the public sector in the economy in terms of available financial resources. The total amount of revenues collected by governments is determined by past and current political decisions that are themselves based on cultural expectations for social redistribution, fiscal constraints and economic fluctuations and performance. As such, levels of government revenues strongly differ across OECD member countries.

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Graphs

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