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Do Job Corps performance measures track program impacts?

  • Peter Z. Schochet

    (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.)

  • John A. Burghardt

    (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.)

Registered author(s):

    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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    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
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    1. Gerald Marschke & Pascal Courty, 2000. "Performance Incentives with Award Constraints," Discussion Papers 00-11, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    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. 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.
    6. repec:mpr:mprres:2955 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Terry Johnson & Mark Gritz & Russell Jackson & John Burghardt & Carol Boussy & Jan Leonard & Carlyn Orians, 1999. "National Job Corps Study Report on the Process Analysis," Mathematica Policy Research Reports efc0cd05f0524a049779f797f, Mathematica Policy Research.
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