via the Economist
IN THE past few decades many countries have tried to roll back Leviathan, the expanding state. A look at the share of government workers in the labour force—either employed directly or via “public corporations”—reveals dramatic differences. In Norway and Denmark the proportion of people living off the public till is more than double that in Germany and Spain. In most cases, western European countries put public employees on the payroll directly. In the east, a legacy of communism is the huge number employed at public corporations: in Poland and the Czech Republic more people get a paycheque from these entities than from the state directly. Between 2001 and 2011 the share of government employees fell in most countries, but not in Britain and Canada, places more associated with reducing the state’s influence on the economy. In America (not listed for lack of data), the share of government workers is 15%, just below the OECD average.
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