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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. The database, countries fact sheets and other online supplements can be found at www.oecd.org/gov/govataglance.htm .

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General government gross debt

Gross government debt denotes all accrued external financial obligations. Governments accumulate debt to finance expenditures above their revenues. Sovereign debt, in the long-run, can help the accumulation of physical capital, especially when interest rates are low; but it can hinder capital accumulation when interest rates increase. If a large share of current revenues needs to be used to service interest payments on the debt, fiscal policy becomes constrained. Therefore, public debt levels can be critical for the stability of the economy.

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Graphs

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