The Cost of Government and the Misuse of Public Assets


Tej Prakash ; Vito Tanzi

Publication Date:

November 1, 2000

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate


This paper deals with efficiency in the public sector. It argues that the habit of relating efficiency to public spending, as is generally done, may give wrong results when, as is often the case, public institutions use public assets (land, buildings, etc.) without imputing a cost for that use. The paper argues that, because of lack of incentives, governments are often wasteful in their use of publicly held assets. It recommends the creation of “cadastres” of publicly owned assets that could be used for several purposes including increasing public sector efficiency.


Working Paper No. 2000/180



Publication Date:

November 1, 2000



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