Quanti invece pensano che se tutti pagassimo quanto la legge ci chiede ci sarebbe più legalità ma non pagheremmo neanche un centesimo di meno e continueremmo ad avere gli stessi (scadenti) servizi pubblici? Credo molti. A tutti questi molti che non sono in grado tuttavia di dimostrare la loro pessimistica intuizione segnalo le conclusioni di un corposo studio pubblicato due settimane fa dal Netherlands Institute for Social Research e il cui titolo è “Countries compared on public performance. A study of public sector performance in 28 countries”. Come si evidenzia nella presentazione:
The report examines the performance of the public sector in 28 OECD countries in the period 1995 to 2009. The study, which was carried out in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, looks in depth at the sectors education, care, social safety and housing. Other sectors which receive attention are social security, economic affairs and infrastructure, environment, culture and sport, and public administration. The report examines how the observed differences in performance can be explained and what countries can learn from each other on the basis of these outcomes.
Cosa si aspettano i lettori in merito alla collocazione dell’Italia e degli altri paesi mediterranei?
Mediterranean and Eastern European countries lag behind
The performance of the public sector in the Mediterranean and Eastern European countries is below average. Bottom of the rankings is Greece, which achieves a score of only 2.7/10 and delivers a below-average performance in all sectors. The performance of Belgium matches that of Italy and Spain, with a score of 4.5/10. This puts Belgium into the group with a moderate public sector performance.
Insomma, lo studio sembra stupirsi che il Belgio si collochi tra i paesi a bassa performance ma non del fatto che Italia e Spagna si trovino a breve distanza dalla Grecia. Neanche noi ce ne stupiamo, così come del fatto di ritrovare una classifica praticamente identica a quella relativa alle finanze pubbliche in dissesto. Ciò che appare invece sorprendente è la principale conclusione dello studio:
Higher spending does not always mean better performance
For most areas of the public sector, no relationship is found between expenditure and performance. This illustrates that the way in which the public sector is structured is more important than the amount of money spent on it. While it is true that the Scandinavian countries achieve a very high level of performance with a high level of expenditure, the Mediterranean countries also have a large public sector but perform only moderately. The Eastern Asiatic countries, by contrast, achieve very good results with a relatively small public sector.
No relationship between level of expenditure and outcome
Relating overall outcome to total public sector expenditure reveals no correlation between the two. Big governments thus do not perform significantly better or worse than small governments. To a certain extent there does appear to be a relationship with country groups. All Nordic countries perform strongly, for example, three of which have a particularly large public sector. By contrast, the Mediterranean countries also tend to have a relatively large public sector, but perform below average. The Continental countries generally appear to hold the middle position.
More expenditure on public sector does not make people more happy
One may wonder whether the correlation between strong countries and well-being is influenced by public sector performance. Are people in strong countries with an excellent public sector performance or sizeable public expenditure happier than those in less well-performing or less high-spending countries?
The correlation between well-being and total public sector expenditure is shown in figure (…). The figure clearly shows that there is no correlation between the two. For example: Sweden and the Netherlands have equal levels of well-being and spend an almost equal percentage of gdp on the public sector, but Australia has an equally satisfied overall performance of the public sector population, although it spends far less money on the public sector.
Invece benessere e performance del settore pubblico sono correlati:
Overall outcome and well-being are positively related
What about the relationship between well-being and overall outcome? It appears that there is a significant positive correlation between overall outcome and well-being. This indicates that countries that perform well in the public sector are more likely to have residents with higher levels of life satisfaction.
In estrema sintesi:
- L’alta spesa pubblica non genera elevati risultati del settore pubblico i quali genererebbero invece elevato benessere dei cittadini.
- Elevate performance pubbliche ed elevato benessere dei cittadini non risultano dipendere dall’ampiezza delle spesa pubblica.
- L’ampiezza della spesa pubblica è indipendente dai risultati del suo utilizzo.