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Hans Olsson

19 May 2023
Economic Bulletin Issue 3, 2023
On 22 February 2023 Eurostat released data on government expenditure for the year 2021 according to the Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG). These data provide information on the functional composition of government spending in countries across the euro area. The ratio of euro area public expenditure to GDP has increased substantially over recent years, from 46.9% in 2019 to 52.6% in 2021. This increase in spending was primarily in the categories of economic affairs, social protection and health, and reflects the introduction of government measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
H11 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H20 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→General
H23 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue→Externalities, Redistributive Effects, Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
H50 : Public Economics→National Government Expenditures and Related Policies→General
8 February 2023
To carry out the analysis required for monetary policy, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) need comprehensive and reliable government finance statistics. The focus of government finance statistics has traditionally been the government as a whole (consolidated), with a particular emphasis on central government. In recent years, however, the focus on subnational government finance statistics has increased, with stories of misreporting by a number of such governments hitting the news. Moreover, subnational governments are the layer of government to which people have the closest connection through their use of services that are either subsidised or directly provided by these bodies. These two aspects prompted the authors to take a closer look at the subnational government finance statistics of all European Union (EU) countries during the period 2000-19 (before, during and after the financial crisis). Data for the year 2020 are not included in this paper to prevent the analysis being skewed by the impact of government coronavirus measures.
JEL Code
H11 : Public Economics→Structure and Scope of Government→Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H2 : Public Economics→Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
H41 : Public Economics→Publicly Provided Goods→Public Goods
H7 : Public Economics→State and Local Government, Intergovernmental Relations