Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2017

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This second edition of Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean provides the latest available data on public administrations in the LAC region and compares it to OECD countries. It contains new indicators on public finances, centres of government, regulatory governance, open government, digital government and public procurement. This edition also includes a special feature on health budgeting.

After a decade of sustained economic growth reinforced by high commodity prices, economic conditions are deteriorating in the LAC region. In this context, LAC governments are expected to design and deliver more inclusive, transparent  and efficient policies. This report provides policy makers with performance measurements and offers comparative perspective. Good indicators are needed more than ever to help governments make informed decisions and tough choices, in order to  maintain progress and improvements in the region.

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Special feature: objectives and sectoral use of cost-benefit analysis

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is a methodology for calculating all social benefits and all social costs of an investment project. It determines the viability of an investment and can provide a basis for the comparison of alternative projects before spending public money. In essence, CBA consists of comparing the expected cost of a project against its expected benefits, in order to determine whether benefits exceed costs and hence decide if the investment is convenient for society and leads to an efficient allocation of resources. In CBA, benefits and costs are expressed in monetary terms, and are adjusted for the time value of money; therefore expressed in terms of their net present value (NPV). The most important application of cost-benefit analysis has been to decide upon public investment projects, thought it has also been used in other areas such as the evaluation of regulatory initiatives, called Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA).

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