Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Series Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

This book is part of the CESifo Seminar Series. The series aims to cover topical policy issues in economics from a largely European perspective. The books in this series are the products of the papers and intensive debates that took place during the seminars hosted by CESifo, an international research network of renowned economists organized jointly by the Center for Economic...

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Taking Stock and an Introduction to the Volume

Apostolis Philippopoulos

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pp. 1-14

The public sector plays a big role in everyone’s life. This volume includes a selection of papers on the economics of the public sector and the need of reforms in the public sector.1 These papers were presented at the CESifo Venice Summer Institute on “Reforming the Public Sector” held in Venice, Italy, on July 25 and 26, 2014. Since then they have been refereed and revised...

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1 Reforming Public Service Provision: What Have We Learned?

Peter Birch Sørensen

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pp. 15-110

As Søren Kierkegaard told us, we humans are doomed to take actions without being able to foresee their consequences. This leads to many regrets, in public affairs as well as in personal life. In particular, when we experiment with reforming an organism as complex as the modern public sector, regrets are almost inevitable, and this chapter will illustrate some...

I Public Wage and Employment Policy

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2 Reforming the Public Sector’s Wage Policy

Pedro Gomes

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pp. 113-156

Three sets of stylized facts characterize the public sector employment and wage policy. These facts relate to their size, cyclicality, and heterogeneity across skills. First, public sector employment and wages always stand out as major components, whether one looks at the labor market or government budget. Governments of OECD countries account for 18 percent of total employment, and their wage bills represent more than half of their government...

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3 Incentives to Work and Performance in the Public Sector

George Economides, Apostolis Philippopoulos, and Petros Varthalitis

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pp. 157-188

The 2008–2009 crisis, and the subsequent rise in sovereign debts in most countries, have compelled their governments to include public sector reforms in their policy agendas. One such important policy target is to improve the efficiency of public good provision. In particular, governments have expressed interest “to produce more with less,” and to make a more efficient use of scarce social inputs. As discussed in chapter 1 by Sørensen, this policy...

II The Role of International Institutions

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4 World Bank Policy Lending for Public Sector Reform

Lodewijk Smets

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pp. 191-212

Most of the chapters in this volume concern the developed world. However, besides a small club of high-income countries, there exists a diverse group of developing countries in which the majority of the world’s population lives. These countries also face challenges of public sector governance, which are generally different in nature from the ones described elsewhere in this volume. In the opening chapter, Peter Sørensen succinctly analyses how welfare...

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5 External Constraints Matter for Privatization

Ilaria Petrarca and Roberto Ricciuti

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pp. 213-254

In January 2014 the headline on The Economist’s cover read “The $9 Trillion Sale. (Almost) Everything Must Go!” The magazine called for a new wave of privatization centered on properties and claimed that this was particularly important for European countries plagued by high government debt. The EU’s Lisbon agenda, the G7 countries’ “Agenda for Growth,” and the 2003 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting setting an Agenda for Growth...

III Issues in Public Policy and Public Finance

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6 Optimal Progressive Taxation in a Model with Endogenous Skill Supply

Konstantinos Angelopoulos, Stylianos Asimakopoulos, and James Malley

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pp. 257-292

An important way to reform the public sector with respect to how it affects the allocation of resources in the economy is via changes to tax policy. For a government intent on improving efficiency, a natural way to discriminate between alternatives is via optimal taxation, by taking into consideration policy restrictions that may apply to tax policy. Our aim in this chapter is to first characterize the optimal tax policy and then to analyze the optimal path...

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7 Measuring Public Sector Performance: A Four Quadrants Model to Monitor Local Governments’Efficiency

Francesco Porcelli, Francesco Vidoli, Roberto Dispotico, and Danilo Ballanti

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pp. 293-336

The measurement of public sector performance is an important policy issue in many developed and developing countries. For instance, the European Commission (2008) recognizes that monitoring the efficiency of central and local governments is a necessary condition for improving the quality of public finances, and thereby achieving a sustained long-run economic growth. Moreover a Policy Brief from the OECD (2013) reports that the measurement of the...

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8 Fiscal Policy Sustainability in the Euro Periphery: A Nonlinear Analysis

Roberto A. De Santis, Gabriella Legrenzi, and Costas Milas

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pp. 337-370

Fiscal sustainability has been a pressing policy issue ever since the recent financial crisis. The 2007 crisis exposed fundamental weaknesses in the European Monetary Union (EMU) and has commanded extraordinary measures, including the provision of financial support to four peripheral euro area countries, namely Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain.1 These countries (as most EU countries) have recently undergone an excessive deficit...

Contributors

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pp. 371-372

Index

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pp. 373-380