This overview paper examines the financial crisis in light of past country experience and economic theory and sets out some preliminary policy recommendations.
In spite of improvements, on various measures of health outcomes the United States appears to rank relatively poorly among OECD countries. Health expenditures, in contrast, are significantly higher than in any other OECD country.
Traditionally, the Norwegian compulsory education system has focused strongly on the linked goals of equal opportunities to learn, comprehensive and inclusive education.
Luxembourg is today one of the main international centres for investment funds. Besides the sector’s direct and indirect employment effects, the most important effect is the large tax revenue generating capacity of the sector, accounting directly for over 20% of aggregate tax revenues.
In a context of fiscal surpluses,the Canadian government has been: markedly reducing corporate income and capital taxes; providing more personal tax relief especially at lower incomes and above all for saving; and cutting the federal value added tax (GST).
Italy has launched itself in the federalist direction by decentralising spending, regulatory and tax powers in the late 1990s and reinforcing growing lower level responsibilities with a constitutional reform in 2001, as discussed in this working paper.
Since 2004, the fiscal deficit has been brought down by over 5% of GDP to below the 3% limit in 2006. The government plans a more gradual reduction so that overall balance or surplus is reached no later than 2010. These and other points are discussed in this working paper.
Despite France’s previously well deserved reputation as a highly centralised state, a significant number of responsibilities have been devolved to regional and local government over the past two decades. The process has not been easy, as is discussed in this working paper.
Reducing poverty and social exclusion is an important objective for all French governments. Even though conventionally measured poverty is in fact lower than in most other countries, it is still higher than can be easily accepted.
This working paper looks at how to shift the policy focus towards reconciling work and family life. Reasons for under-provision in childcare by local governments are discussed and recommendations for further central-government intervention to improve supply are made.