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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Government investment spending

One of the main reasons for government investments is the promotion of economic growth; this is achieved, among other ways, through the financing of public infrastructure projects (roads, housing, schools, hospitals and communication networks). Moreover, some projects with desired social returns (public goods) are not profitable for the private sector and thus are developed by the public sector. Public direct investment can be used by governments for countercyclical policy objectives. For instance, as a result of the recent economic downturn, many OECD governments introduced stimulus plans through an increase in investments in soft and hard infrastructures.

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