blue and yellow measuring tape

Non-Performing Performance Indicators

It is shocking that, in quite a few countries which embarked on performance budgeting reforms years ago, performance indicators remain awful. Performance indicators are, after all, a basic building block of any performance budgeting system. Yet OECD surveys – most recently in 2018 – have repeatedly shown that in half of member countries, available performance […]

three bicycles parked in front of building

Population Aging and Public Expenditure: Lessons from Japan

I’ve commented previously on the widespread tendency to exaggerate the impact of population ageing on public expenditure. Sure, it is an important source of upward spending pressure, particularly on long-term care and pensions. However, by far the biggest single area of spending pressure in coming decades will be health, and population ageing plays only a […]

white printer paper

Accrual Budgeting: Think Carefully Before Jumping

[Warning: this is a technical blogpiece for public financial management specialists] Is moving to a accrual budgeting a good idea? This is a question I am asked from time to time. It is a controversial matter which needs to be carefully considered by any country contemplating making this move. Accrual budgeting has benefits, but also […]

woman holding syringe

Health Care: What’s at Stake in the Presidential Election

Of all of the issues facing Americans in next Tuesday’s presidential election, healthcare is one of the biggest. Healthcare is a huge financial burden on Americans. The bad news is that the burden is set to become even heavier in coming years. This is why bold reforms are needed to tackle the waste and profiteering […]

10 and 20 us dollar bill

The Future US Debt Crisis

Faced with the pandemic, big deficits and increased debt are not only inevitable, but desirable – on a strictly temporary basis. This is something on which nearly all economists agree. But this does not mean that high debt has someone become acceptable in the longer term. In the longer term, it creates huge risks. The […]