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Do Job Corps performance measures track program impacts?

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  • Peter Z. Schochet

    (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.)

  • John A. Burghardt

    (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.)

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    Abstract

    Since the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act, performance measurement systems based on short-term program outcomes have been increasingly used to assess the effectiveness of federal programs. This paper examines the association between program performance measures and long-term program impacts, using nine-year follow-up data from a recent large-scale, national experimental evaluation of Job Corps, the nation's largest federal job training program for disadvantaged youths. Job Corps is an important test case because it uses a comprehensive performance system that is widely emulated. We find that impacts on key outcomes are not associated with measured center performance levels. Participants in higherperforming centers had better outcomes; however, the same pattern holds for comparable controls. Thus, the performance measurement system is not achieving the goal of ranking and rewarding centers on the basis of their ability to improve participant outcomes relative to what these outcomes would have been otherwise. © 2008 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20356
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 556-576

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:27:y:2008:i:3:p:556-576

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    1. Pascal Courty & Gerald Marschke, 2002. "Performance Incentives with Award Constraints," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 812-845.
    2. James J. Heckman & Carolyn Heinrich & Jeffrey Smith, 2002. "The Performance of Performance Standards," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 778-811.
    3. Robert S. Gay & Michael E. Borus, 1980. "Validating Performance Indicators for Employment and Training Programs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(1), pages 29-48.
    4. Sheena McConnell & Steven Glazerman, 2001. "National Job Corps Study: The Benefits and Costs of Job Corps," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 2955, Mathematica Policy Research.
    5. Cragg, Michael, 1997. "Performance Incentives in the Public Sector: Evidence from the Job Training Partnership Act," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 147-68, April.
    6. Burt S Barnow, 2000. "Exploring the relationship between performance management and program impact: A case study of the job training partnership act," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 118-141.
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    Cited by:
    1. Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Arturo Gonzalez & Todd C. Neumann, 2009. "Estimating the Effects of Lenght of Exposure to Traning Program: The Case of Job Corps," Working Papers 2010-3, University of Miami, Department of Economics.

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