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Curbing cream-skimming: Evidence on enrolment incentives

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  • Pascal Courty
  • Do Han Kim
  • Gerald Marschke1

Abstract

Using data from a large, U.S. federal job training program, we investigate whether enrolment incentives that exogenously vary the ‘shadow prices’ for serving different demographic subgroups of clients influence case workers’ intake decisions. We show that case workers enroll more clients from subgroups whose shadow prices increase but select at the margin weaker-performing members from those subgroups. We conclude that enrolment incentives curb cream-skimming across subgroups leaving a residual potential for cream-skimming within a subgroup.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2009/03.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2009/03

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Related research

Keywords: Performance measurement; cream-skimming; enrolment incentives; bureaucrat behavior; public organizations;

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References

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  1. Ladd, Helen F., 1999. "The Dallas school accountability and incentive program: an evaluation of its impacts on student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-16, February.
  2. Buchner, Florian & Wasem, Jurgen, 2003. "Needs for further improvement: risk adjustment in the German health insurance system," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 21-35, July.
  3. James Heckman & Carolyn Heinrich & Jeffrey Smith, 2002. "The Performance of Performance Standards," NBER Working Papers 9002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Kathryn Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser & Jennie E. Raymond, 1993. "The effect of creaming on placement rates under the Job Training Partnership Act," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(4), pages 613-624, July.
  6. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation of the Prevalence and Predictors of Teacher Cheating," NBER Working Papers 9413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Burgess, Simon & Propper, Carol & Ratto, Marisa & Tominey, Emma, 2003. "Incentives in the Public Sector: Some Preliminary Evidence from a UK Government Agency," CEPR Discussion Papers 4010, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. David Dranove & Daniel Kessler & Mark McClellan & Mark Satterthwaite, 2003. "Is More Information Better? The Effects of "Report Cards" on Health Care Providers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 555-588, June.
  9. Jacob, Brian A., 2005. "Accountability, incentives and behavior: the impact of high-stakes testing in the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 761-796, June.
  10. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith & Christopher Taber, 1996. "What Do Bureaucrats Do? The Effects of Performance Standards and Bureaucratic Preferences on Acceptance into the JTPA Program," NBER Working Papers 5535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Koning, Pierre & Heinrich, Carolyn J., 2010. "Cream-Skimming, Parking and Other Intended and Unintended Effects of Performance-Based Contracting in Social Welfare Services," IZA Discussion Papers 4801, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Carolyn J. Heinrich & Gerald Marschke, 2010. "Incentives and their dynamics in public sector performance management systems," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 183-208.

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