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Performance Incentives in Government Subcontracting: Evidence from the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA)

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  • Michael Ian Cragg

    (Columbia University)

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    Abstract

    It is curious that more government programs do not use performance based subcontracts for human resource oriented programs. Theoretical explanations for their limited use are that: agents' risk aversion to idiosyncratic variation in compensation beyond their control constrains the effectiveness of performance incentives; and, moral hazard can restrict the efficacy of performance incentives if the performance measures do not perfectly reflect program goals. This paper examines the validity of these explanations by studying the performance management system used in the major federal job training program, the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). Existing JTPA performance measures lead to problems of moral hazard. The paper provides empirical evidence for the notion that problems of moral hazard preclude the wide-spread use of performance incentives in government programs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 9507001.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jul 1995
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    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9507001

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    1. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    2. Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1991. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 1987. "Second Sourcing and the Experience Curve: Price Competition in Defense Procurement," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 57-76, Spring.
    4. Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101, February.
    5. Burt S. Barnow, 1987. "The Impact of CETA Programs on Earnings: A Review of the Literature," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(2), pages 157-193.
    6. Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Ownership, Agency and Wages: An Examination in the Fast Food Industry," NBER Working Papers 3334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 1990. "Measuring the effectiveness of competition in defense procurement: A survey of the empirical literature," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 60-79.
    9. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
    10. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
    11. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
    12. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Incentives and Careers in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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