Measuring Government Activity

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The size and the economic significance of the public sector make it a major contributor to economic growth and social welfare. The goods and services government provides, its redistributive and regulatory powers, and how those are exercised affect the way business is conducted and people live their lives in every country. Citizens are entitled to understand how government works and how public revenues are used. This book provides a significant contribution to developing a coherent, reliable system for data collection and analysis. It summarises the available OECD and other international data on public sector inputs and processes. It also examines the existing internationally comparable data on outputs and outcomes, and recommends new approaches to measurement.




Nowadays it is hard to imagine a sustained debate on government performance that would not include some reference to the money spent (inputs), the quality of government processes, the quality and quantity of government outputs, and the outcomes (or lack of them) eventually achieved. Very extensive academic and practitioner literature are devoted to the subject of these aspects of government performance, literature which stretches back for at least a quarter of a century. 


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