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Enhancing the Effectiveness of Public Spending in Finland


  • Philip Hemmings
  • David Turner
  • Seija Parviainen


Finland is committed to high quality and extensive public services and a high level of income redistribution. The heavy tax burden these commitments require is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain due to tax competition and the need to harmonise certain taxes with other EU countries. These pressures on taxation combined with the fiscal effects of rapid ageing imply a need for continued restraint of aggregate expenditure and a need for further efficiency gains in the provision of public services. This paper, one of a series of OECD reviews on public expenditure, looks at how Finland is coping with this challenge. It concludes that the fundamental framework guiding public expenditure in Finland is sound. And, in many areas of public activity the country compares very favourably internationally. However, recent slippage in fiscal discipline needs to be addressed. Also it will be important to monitor, and if necessary follow up on, reforms of pensions and early retirement ... Renforcer l'efficacité des dépenses publiques en Finlande La Finlande est foncièrement attachée à une offre très diversifiée de services publics de haute qualité et à une forte redistribution des revenus. La pression fiscale qu’impose cet attachement est de plus en plus difficile à tenir, non seulement pour des raisons d’efficience, mais aussi du fait de la concurrence fiscale et de la nécessité d’harmoniser certains impôts avec les autres pays de l’Union européenne. Du fait de ces contraintes pesant sur la fiscalité, auxquelles s’ajoutent les conséquences budgétaires de l’accélération du vieillissement de la population, il faut freiner en permanence l’ensemble des dépenses publiques et poursuivre l’effort d’efficacité dans l’offre des services publics. Le présent document de travail, qui s’inscrit dans la série des examens que l’OCDE consacre aux dépenses publiques, traite de la réponse de la Finlande à ce défi. Il conclut à la solidité du cadre fondamental des dépenses publiques en Finlande. Et, dans de nombreux domaines de l’action ...

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Hemmings & David Turner & Seija Parviainen, 2003. "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Public Spending in Finland," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 358, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:358-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Gösta Ljungman, 2008. "Expenditure Ceilings—A Survey," IMF Working Papers 08/282, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Tarja Viitanen, 2011. "Child care voucher and labour market behaviour: experimental evidence from Finland," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(23), pages 3203-3212.
    3. Viitanen, Tarja, 2007. "Public versus Private Provision of Daycare: An Experimental Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 3009, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    dépenses publiques; education; Finland; Finlande; government expenditure; health; organisation et compétences des administrations publiques; pensions; pensions; public economics; santé; state and local government; structure and scope of government; économies publiques; éducation; États et collectivités locales;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations


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