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Enhancing the Effectiveness of Public Spending: Experience in OECD Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Isabelle Joumard
  • Per Mathis Kongsrud
  • Young-Sook Nam
  • Robert W. R. Price

In most OECD countries, public spending rose steadily as a share of GDP over the past decades to the mid-1990s, but this trend has since abated. The spending pressures stemming from the continued expansion of social programmes have been partly compensated by transient or one-off factors. Pressures on public spending, however, appear likely to intensify, in particular as a consequence of ageing populations. Since most OECD economies have very little scope for raising taxation or debt to finance higher spending, reforms to curb the growth in public spending while raising its cost effectiveness are now required. This paper presents a reform strategy for progress in this direction, based on detailed country reviews for over twothirds of OECD countries. Three main areas for action are identified: the budget process; management practices and the use of market mechanisms in the delivery of public services ... Améliorer le rapport coûts-résultats des dépenses publiques : Expériences dans les pays de l'OCDE La part des dépenses publiques dans le revenu national a augmenté au cours des dernières décennies dans la plupart des pays de l’OCDE. Depuis le milieu des années 90, les chiffres font apparaître une rupture de tendance. L’expansion continue des programmes sociaux, qui a favorisé la hausse des dépenses publiques, a été en partie compensée par un certain nombre de facteurs temporaires ou ponctuels. Les pressions sur les dépenses publiques risquent néanmoins de ressurgir, en particulier en raison du vieillissement des populations. Au vu des faibles marges de manoeuvre pour financer ces dépenses par une augmentation des impôts ou de la dette publique dans la plupart des pays de l’OCDE, des réformes visant à contenir la croissance des dépenses tout en améliorant leur efficacité sont désormais nécessaires. Sur la base d’études approfondies menées sur plus des deux tiers des pays de l’OCDE, ce document de travail identifie trios principaux axes de réforme : le processus budgétaire, les ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 380.

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Date of creation: 12 Feb 2004
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:380-en
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