Multi-level Governance, Public Investment and Subnational Finance

Subnational Public Finance and Investment


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In the OECD, subnational governments - states, regions, municipalities - account for 40% of total public expenditure and 57% of total public investment in their countries. Subnational governments are key actors in public spending and investment, as well as in raising revenues and borrowing. 



Projects & Publications

World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment (SNG-WOFI)

 The OECD/UCLG World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment (SNG-WOFI), launched in November 2017, is the world’s leading source of internationally comparable data and analysis on subnational government structure and finance. Now in its third edition, the SNG-WOFI includes data from 135 countries, covering almost 90% of the world surface area, 93% of the world population and 94% of global GDP. In addition to the update of information from the second edition, the third edition comprises new specific focuses, including on the territorial impact and management of the COVID-19 crisis and recovery, property taxation, public-private partnerships, innovative budgeting practices as well as an extended analysis of Least Developed Countries. Key findings of the 2022 edition are available in a synthesis report, based on individual country profiles and comparative analysis of fiscal data.

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A Review of Local Government Finance in Israel: Reforming the Arnona System

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the Israeli system of local government finance, with a focus on the role of the Israeli property tax, known as the Arnona. The first chapter provides a description of the Israeli system of local government finance and compares it to local government finance in OECD countries. The second chapter assess the strengths and shortcoming of the Arnona and the intergovernmental grant system. Attention is paid to fiscal disparities among municipalities and to the ability of the current system to provide all Israelis with adequate and equitable access to economic and social services and infrastructure. The final chapter presents a set of 13 policy recommendations, including a longer-run blueprint for a more substantial reform of the system based on the establishment of a value-based system of local property taxation.


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Regional Government Finance and Investment in the OECD and EU: New Pilot Database and Report

5 May 2020

The OECD, with the support of the European DG REGIO of the European Commission, has developed a new and unique pilot database: the Regional Government Finance and Investment Database (REGOFI). It provides comparative data on regional government accounts in 24 countries, covering a total of 494 regional governments in the OECD and the European Union. Data are accessible online, including standardised indicators on regional government expenditure, revenue, investment, and debt, over the period 2010-16. The database is accompanied by a technical report that presents key findings.

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Access the database

Subnational Governments in OECD Countries: Key Data 
The subnational government finance dataset presents data on the institutional organisation at local and regional levels as well as on public finance. Financial data cover the general government sector and subnational government subsector (state and local government levels) in OECD member countries and in the EU. Four main dimensions are presented: expenditure (including investment), revenue, budget balance and debt. We regularly update this database and publish the data brochures.
OECD Subnational government structure and finance database
New: Brochure for OECD countries (2021 Edition)

Regions and Cities at a Glance 2020

 November 2020

Regions and Cities at a Glance 2020 provides a comprehensive assessment of how regions and cities across the OECD are progressing towards stronger, more sustainable and more resilient economies and societies. The publication provides a unique comparative picture in a number of aspects connected to economic development, health, well-being and net zero-carbon transition across regions and cities in OECD and selected non-OECD countries.

The chapter Subnational government finance and investment reveals that subnational governments play a significant role in public spending. For example, education, health and protection amount to 57% of total subnational government expenditure.

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Forthcoming: Uncovering the Unknown: Spending Indicators on Municipal Decision-making Authority 

This upcoming working paper presents findings on the degree of spending autonomy at municipal level in 32 unitary EU and OECD countries, using new databases and indicators. This is the first municipal-level comparative study on spending autonomy using these data. The paper also analyses municipal spending shares of general government expenditures in different sectors, using a sectoral breakdown of national accounts.


Related topics

Regional Development & Public Investment

Financing Climate Actions in Regions and Cities 



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