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Performance Incentives in the Public Sector: Evidence from the Job Training Partnership Act

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  • Cragg, Michael

Abstract

It is curious that more government programs do not use performance based contracts for human-resource-oriented programs. Theoretical explanations for their limited use are that agents' risk aversion limits the effectiveness of performance incentives, and moral hazard can restricted the efficacy of performance incentives if the performance measures do not fully reflect program goals. This article 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. This article provides empirical evidence for the notion that unless performance standards are carefully designed, problems of moral hazard may preclude the widespread use of performance incentives in government programs. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 147-168, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:13:y:1997:i:1:p:147-68
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gerald Marschke & Pascal Courty, 2000. "An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Performance Incentives," Discussion Papers 00-12, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    2. Courty, Pascal & Kim, Do Han & Marschke, Gerald, 2011. "Curbing cream-skimming: Evidence on enrolment incentives," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 643-655, October.
    3. Courty, Pascal & Marschke, Gerald, 2004. "A General Test of Gaming," CEPR Discussion Papers 4514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Pascal Courty & Gerald Marschke, 2004. "An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Explicit Performance Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 23-56, January.
    5. Garicano, Luis & Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, 2005. "Sabotage in Tournaments: Making the Beautiful Game a Bit Less Beautiful," CEPR Discussion Papers 5231, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Peter Z. Schochet & John A. Burghardt, 2008. "Do Job Corps performance measures track program impacts?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 556-576.
    7. 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.
    8. Pascal Courty & Gerald Marschke, 2003. "Making Government Accountable: Lessons from a Federal Job Training Program," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/083, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    9. Ivo Bischoff & Frédéric Blaeschke, 2013. "Incentives and Influence Activities in the Public Sector: the Trade-off in Performance Budgeting and Conditional Grants," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201320, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    10. Ivo Bischoff & Frédéric Blaeschke, 2012. "Window-Dressing and Lobbying in Performance-Budgeting: a Model for the Public Sector," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201212, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    11. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2373-2437 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Robert Gibbons, 1998. "Incentives in Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 115-132, Fall.
    13. Luis Garicano & Richard A. Posner, 2005. "Intelligence Failures: An Organizational Economics Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 151-170, Fall.
    14. Kuhn, Michael & Siciliani, Luigi, 2007. "Performance Indicators for Quality with Adverse Selection, Gaming and Inequality Aversion," CEPR Discussion Papers 6261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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