Government at a Glance 2015

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Government at a Glance 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, health and justice. Government at a Glance also includes indicators on key governance and public management issues, such as transparency in governance, regulatory governance, public procurement and the implementation of employment and remuneration reforms since 2009. 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 expenditures

Public expenditures have two main objectives: produce and/or pay for the goods and services delivered to citizens and businesses, and redistribute income. In addition, the amount of financial resources spent by governments provides an indication on the size of the public sector. Although government expenditures are usually less flexible than government revenues they are also sensitive to economic developments associated with the business cycle and reflect historical and current political decisions. For example, governments could choose to transfer resources via subsidies and grants or provide support by lowering tax rates to a given economic sector or a group within the society.

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