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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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The impact of fiscal policy on equity

Inequality pose a critical challenge for government. In a broad sense, rising inequalities can not only harm economic growth and create social distress, but can also negatively affect access to opportunities and basic public services. To a greater or lesser extent, depending on the societal agreement, governments play a role in income redistribution through taxes and transfers. In this context, the efficiency and effectiveness of fiscal policy are essential to achieve more equal societies and fight poverty. In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) this is particularly relevant as, despite recent improvements, the region is still the most unequal in the world. According to the latest available evidence, on average in 2012, inequality in LAC measured by the Gini coefficient after taxes and transfers is 70% higher than in OECD member countries, with scores of 0.49 and 0.29, respectively (see ).

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