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These splits make it possible to characterize the structure of public finances in OECD countries according to the different types of welfare state. This, in turn, makes it possible for countries to compare themselves with other relevant member countries and may stimulate the national policy debate about questions such as decentralization, redistribution, privatization, the role of the non?profit sector and the application of user fees. Recommended uses and limitations The methodology applied to make the required splits has been developed since 2004 and has gradually become more accurate. The most recent methodology, used in the PFED of 2009, makes use of second level COFOG data and has been applied in a test procedure on five European countries (of which three are OECD countries) that have provided second level COFOG data to Eurostat. In the course of 2007 and 2008, more countries made available second level COFOG data to Eurostat.