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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Redistribution of income

Among the main tasks of governments are guaranteeing that citizens have equality of opportunity and even access to basic public services. Governments should also assist those experiencing poverty by ensuring the attainment of a minimum standard of living. Based on the societal agreement, governments could play a more or a less important role in income redistribution through taxes and transfers. For many OECD member countries, the gap between the richest and the poorest is at its highest in 30 years (OECD, 2014c). Additionally, recent evidence suggests that inequality has a negative effect on economic growth (OECD, 2014a). By having fewer resources available people from disadvantaged social backgrounds underinvest in education, lowering social mobility and hampering skills development that are crucial for economic growth (OECD, 2014c).

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