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Restructuring Welfare Spending in Slovenia

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  • Rafal Kierzenkowski

    (OECD)

Abstract

Restoring fiscal sustainability is a major challenge in Slovenia. Yet, the performance in terms of expenditure control is poor and public expenditure on social spending increased briskly during the crisis, significantly more than on average across the OECD. Despite recent progress in reforming the pension system, Slovenia continues to face major age-related spending pressures. Reforming the welfare state would help achieve fiscal consolidation, increase the quality of fiscal adjustment and address long-term fiscal sustainability challenges. This could be done without significantly worsening income inequality, which is low in Slovenia. Despite recent progress, cash transfers do not seem to be sufficiently means tested. Partly driven by generous social transfers, average effective tax rates on returning to work from inactivity and unemployment are high and could be further cut gradually. Efficiency frontier analysis suggests there is scope to improve spending efficiency without undermining the quality of in kind services on secondary education, health care and public administration. There is excess capacity in pre-school and compulsory education and the allocation of tertiary education services is regressive. The delivery of health care could be improved by rationalising inpatient care and enhancing costeffective primary care, which would generate savings in the medium term. Further increasing the effective retirement age and reforming the financing of health and long-term care are the main policy priorities to contain the pressure of population ageing on expenditure. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Review of Slovenia (http://www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/slovenia-2013.htm). Restructurer les dépenses sociales en Slovénie Restaurer la soutenabilité des finances publiques est un enjeu majeur en Slovénie. Cependant, la maîtrise des dépenses est faible et les dépenses sociales publiques ont fortement augmenté durant la crise – nettement plus qu’en moyenne dans la zone OCDE. En dépit de récentes avancées de la réforme du système de retraite, la Slovénie reste confrontée à de fortes pressions sur les dépenses liées au vieillissement de la population. Une réforme de l’État-providence contribuerait à l’assainissement budgétaire, améliorerait la qualité de l’ajustement budgétaire et relèverait les défis de soutenabilité des finances publiques à long terme. Cette réforme pourrait être menée sans détériorer significativement les inégalités de revenus, qui sont faibles en Slovénie. En dépit de progrès récents, les transferts monétaires ne semblent pas suffisamment soumis à des conditions de ressources. Alimentés en partie par de généreux transferts sociaux, les taux moyens effectifs d’imposition des inactifs et des chômeurs qui retrouvent un emploi sont élevés et pourraient être graduellement réduits. L’analyse des frontières d’efficience laisse entrevoir une marge d’amélioration de l’efficience des dépenses sans obérer pour autant la qualité des prestations en nature dans les domaines de l’enseignement secondaire, des soins de santé et de l’administration publique. Il existe des surcapacités dans l’enseignement préscolaire et obligatoire, et l’allocation des services de l’enseignement supérieur est régressive. La fourniture de soins de santé pourrait progresser en qualité grâce à une rationalisation des soins dispensés dans le cadre d’une hospitalisation et une meilleure efficacité-coût des soins primaires, ce qui engendrerait des économies à moyen terme. Un nouveau recul de l’âge effectif de la retraite et la réforme du financement des soins de santé et de la prise en charge de la dépendance sont les principales priorités de l’action publique afin de contenir la pression qu’exerce le vieillissement de la population sur les dépenses. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Slovénie 2013 (http://www.oecd.org/fr/eco/etudes/slovenie-2013.htm)

Suggested Citation

  • Rafal Kierzenkowski, 2013. "Restructuring Welfare Spending in Slovenia," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1061, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1061-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k44v50kwzxx-en
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    assainissement budgétaire; cash transfers; dépenses sociales; education; fiscal consolidation; health; in-kind benefits; long-term care; pension system; prestations en nature; santé; Slovenia; Slovénie; soins de long terme; soutenabilité; sustainability; système des retraites; transferts monétaires; welfare spending;

    JEL classification:

    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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