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Subjective Performance Evaluation in the Public Sector: Evidence from School Inspections

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  • Iftikhar Hussain

Abstract

Performance measurement in the public sector is largely based on objective metrics, which may be subject to gaming behaviour. This paper investigates a novel subjective performance evaluation system where independent inspectors visit schools at very short notice, publicly disclose their findings and sanction schools rated fail. First, I demonstrate that inspection ratings can aid in distinguishing between more and less effective schools, even after controlling for standard observed school characteristics. Second, exploiting a natural experiment, I show that a fail inspection leads to test score gains; at least some of these gains persist in the medium term. I find no evidence to suggest that fail schools are able to inflate test score performance by gaming the system. Oversight by inspectors may play an important role in mitigating such strategic behaviour.

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File URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp135.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number 0135.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0135

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Web page: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/publications.htm

Related research

Keywords: subjective performance evaluation; gaming behavior; school inspections.;

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  1. Kenneth Y. Chay & Patrick J. McEwan & Miguel Urquiola, 2005. "The Central Role of Noise in Evaluating Interventions That Use Test Scores to Rank Schools," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1237-1258, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Marco Bertoni & Giorgio Brunello & Lorenzo Rocco, 2012. "When the Cat is Near, the Mice Wonft Play: The Effect of External Examiners in Italian Schools," ISER Discussion Paper 0845, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.

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