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Mr. David Coady and Ms. Nan Geng
This paper reviews public expenditure in Lithuania to identify areas where deeper structural reforms may be warranted to improve spending efficiency and contain future spending pressures. The analysis benchmarks spending in Lithuania against other European countries focusing on spending levels, spending composition, and spending outcomes, and for both economic and functional spending classifications. While recent expenditure consolidation efforts have kept public spending among the lowest in Europe, a transition from broad-based measures to more structural measures will be required: to ensure that low spending levels remain sustainable, to address poor social outcomes such as high inequality and poor health and education outcomes, and to efficiently and equitably contain spending pressures arising from an ageing population.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper examines inflation dynamics over the past five years for Lithuania. A decomposition of inflation into its components provides clues to its main causes. It shows that energy price increases and convergence to European Union (EU)-wide price levels have been important factors driving inflation, but domestic demand pressures—and wage growth, in particular—have also contributed to inflation. The types of possible efficiency gains are illustrated in the context of health care and social assistance. The paper also examines migration and its long-term fiscal implications.
Mr. Christian Keller and Mr. Peter S. Heller
During the transition process, many existing social sector institutions and policies were significantly eroded and their underlying character changed. As a result, they often do not redistribute to the poorest, nor generally serve the role of facilitating economic change. Social sector reforms have therefore become necessary for reasons of social welfare as well as economic growth. The analysis of eleven transition countries—comprising some of the most advanced as well as some of the poorest transition economies—shows that almost all countries have started to undertake reforms; however, their individual efforts vary. Reform does not only stand for cutting back, but also requires in some cases a building up and in others a redesign of social safety nets; it needs to address insurance issues, budgetary transfer programs, the performance of the health and education sector, as well as the labor market regime and the approach to tax administration.