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Net Public Social Expenditure

Listed author(s):
  • Willem Adema
  • Marcel Einerhand
  • Bengt Eklind
  • Jorgen Lotz
  • Mark Pearson

The OECD Social Expenditure data base (SOCX) allows the monitoring of trends in aggregate social expenditure and changes in its composition. But aggregate social expenditure may sometimes fail to reflect the true ‘effort’ of a country in providing social support. Account needs to be taken of the effects of tax systems and transfers which, although mandatory, are not paid by government. In order to get from a “gross” to a “net” concept of social expenditure various adjustments to raw data are needed. These adjustments concern: methods of benefit payment (“net” or “gross” of tax); the varying extent with which governments use fiscal instruments rather than cash transfers to pursue social policy goals; and the different degree to which government requires other economic agents to provide social expenditures. The analysis also addresses the automatic budget effects related to the stage of the economic cycle. This analysis is a first attempt to capture in a comprehensive manner the effect ... La base de données de l’OCDE sur les dépenses sociales (SOCX) permet d’observer l’évolution de l’ensemble des dépenses sociales ainsi que les modifications survenues dans leur composition. Mais ces dépenses dans leur ensemble peuvent parfois ne pas refléter l’effort véritable qu’un pays fournit pour apporter une aide sociale. Il faut tenir compte des effets du système fiscal et des transferts qui, bien qu’ils soient obligatoires, ne sont pas payés par le gouvernement. Afin de passer d’un concept ‘brut” de dépenses sociales à un concept “net”, divers ajustements sur les données brutes sont nécessaires. Ces ajustements concernent : les méthodes de paiement des prestations (“nettes” ou “brutes” d’impôt); l’importance avec laquelle les gouvernements utilisent les instruments financiers plutôt que les transferts en espèces pour accomplir les objectifs de la politique sociale; et jusqu’à quel point le gouvernement a besoin d’autres agents économiques pour qu’ils fournissent des dépenses ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers with number 19.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 1996
Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaaa:19-en
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