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Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2020

image of Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2020

This third edition of Government at a Glance Latin America and the Caribbean provides the latest available evidence on public administrations and their performance in the LAC region and compares it to OECD countries. This publication includes indicators on public finances and economics, public employment, centres of government, regulatory governance, open government data, public sector integrity, public procurement and for the first time core government results (e.g. trust, inequality reduction). 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 of the data, and a methodological section on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability.

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General government structural balance

General government spending and revenues are highly sensitive to economic cycles and specific events (e.g. privatisations). In turn, government revenues (particularly tax revenues) tend to decline during economic downturns, at the same time as public spending may increase given that more people become unemployed and qualify for social assistance or unemployment benefits. On the other hand, during upturns, public accounts improve, as tax revenues rise and the number of those receiving social benefits usually declines. Analysing indicators that are not influenced by temporary fluctuations helps policy makers identify the underlying trend of fiscal policies associated with long-term public finance sustainability. The structural fiscal balance aims to capture these trends in order to assess fiscal performance. Estimating the structural balance requires calculating the structural and cyclical components of both the fiscal balance and output or potential GDP (i.e. the economy working at full capacity).

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Graphs

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