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Government at a Glance 2019

image of Government at a Glance 2019

Government at a Glance provides reliable, internationally comparative data on government activities and their results in OECD countries. Where possible, it also reports data for Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and South Africa. In many public governance areas, it is the only available source of data. It includes input, process, output and outcome indicators as well as contextual information for each country.

The 2019 edition includes input indicators on public finance and employment; while processes include data on institutions, budgeting practices and procedures, human resources management, regulatory government, public procurement and digital government and open data. Outcomes cover core government results (e.g. trust, inequality reduction) and indicators on access, responsiveness, quality and citizen satisfaction for the education, health and justice sectors. Governance indicators are especially useful for monitoring and benchmarking governments’ progress in their public sector reforms.

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.

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General government revenues

Government revenues serve the purpose of financing the provision of goods and services to the population (such as health care and defence), as well as allowing the state to carry out its redistributive role (through subsidies and social benefits). The main sources of revenue are taxes and social contributions. In turn, government’s policy choices, for example, on health care and retirement schemes, as well as fluctuations of the business cycle, determine how much revenue is required to deliver to citizens and to pay financial obligations (e.g. debt). Although for a certain time imbalances can be covered by acquiring debt, in the long term accounts should be balanced to ensure the sustainability of public finances.

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