Government at a Glance 2017

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Government at a Glance 2017 provides the latest available data on public administrations in OECD countries. Where possible, it also reports data for Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Lithuania, the Russian Federation, and South Africa. This edition contains new indicators on public sector emploympent, institutions, budgeting practices and procedures, regulatory governance, risk management and communication, open government data and public sector innovation. This edition also includes for the first time a number of scorecards comparing the level of access, responsiveness and quality of services in three key areas: health care, education and justice.

Each indicator in the publication is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of graphs and/or charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological section on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability. A database containing qualitative and quantitative indicators on government is available on line. It is updated twice a year as new data are released.

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Expenditures structure by level of government

The degree of fiscal decentralisation determines the types of expenditures carried out at each level of government. All levels of government are connected by overlapping responsibilities in financing the goods and services provided by them, setting up quality guidelines for their provision, etc. How much overlap there is in responsibilities among levels of government depends on the constitutional set-up of countries, the uniformity of the public goods and services they provide and the needs of the population, as well as redistributive objectives they pursue. Even though decentralised expenditures respond to the variety in local preferences, and can lead to better political accountability for results, they can also limit the extent to which economies of scale can be exploited in service provision, can create inefficiencies and can exacerbate geographical inequalities.

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