The World Economic Forum’s recently-released Global Competitiveness Survey offers a bundle of indicators to show the health of a country’s institutions.
One of those is the perceived wastefulness of government spending.
WEF used its executive opinion survey to ask “in your country, how efficiently does the government spend public revenue?”
So the measure isn’t based on any objective economic or accounting measure, but rather by the perceptions of the population. The countries are ranked from 1 (least wasteful) to 140 (most wasteful).
We looked only at the 34 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, which are all considered relatively developed economies with democratic systems.
There’s a colossal range — some of these countries are predictably considered by their populations to have the least wasteful public spending than any other country’s populations do. Others rank fall all the way to the bottom end of the rankings.