Management Quality and Government Effectiveness Among OECD Countries

In addition to the indicators of performance management, we also considered several factors that comprised the variable MQGE. This variable was measured using four indicators that reflect both evaluations of specific important aspects of management quality (OECD 2013) and overall assessments of government effectiveness (WGI 2013).

Two specific indicators were used for management quality. The first was the extent to which citizens of a given country approved of its leadership. The OECD report refers to data collected by the Gallup World Poll in 2012. It indicates a great variance among countries with regard to assessments of their leadership. Countries such as Switzerland (81%), Luxembourg (75%), Norway (67%), and New Zealand (64%) rated their leadership quite high, whereas countries such as the Czech Republic (13%), Greece (15%), Hungary (17%), and Estonia (19%) rated their leadership as quite poor. The average value of the leadership indicator among 35 OECD countries was 41% in 2012, which is relatively low.

The second factor we weighed was the extent to which citizens of a given country thought that corruption was widespread throughout the government. The OECD report refers to data collected by the Gallup World Poll in 2012. Here also we can see differences among the countries, differences that to a large extent match those of the leadership index. Greece (92%) and former Soviet countries ranked high on the corruption index, while Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries scored quite low. We should note, however, that citizens in developed countries such as the United States (73%), Japan (64%), Italy (86%), and Austria (67%) thought that corruption was widespread in their countries. France and Germany received a similar score of 54%. The average value of the corruption index among 34 OECD countries was 57% in 2012.

Two specific indicators were considered to assess government effectiveness. First, we used the WGI’s measure of regulatory quality, which reflects perceptions of the ability of the government to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development. The index has existed since 1996 and has demonstrated a gradual increase throughout the years for most countries. For 2012, the index indicates that most of the countries are graded above 60%, while only 7 out of 37 fall below that line. The average index among OECD countries was 73%.

Second, we referred to the WGI’s measure of government effectiveness, which reflects perceptions of the quality of public services, the quality of the civil service and the degree of its independence from political pressures, the quality of policy formulation and implementation, and the credibility of the government’s commitment to such policies. This composite indicator has also existed since 1996. Although the average value has remained stable, the distribution of the variable differs among the years with an increase in effectiveness toward the middle of the period and a decline afterward. For 2012, the index indicates that 24 out of 37 countries scored between 70% and 90%, while only 7 countries scored below 60%. The average index among OECD countries was 73%. This indication is striking given the high levels of corruption in many countries.

 
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