IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Performance Monitoring Work? A Review of the Evidence from the UK Public Sector, Excluding Health Care


  • Simon Burgess
  • Carol Propper
  • Deborah Wilson



This paper reviews that use of performance monitoring in the UK public sector, excluding its use in health care. Our focus is on finding robust evidence that evaluates the success of the introduction of performance monitoring in terms of its impact both on behaviour and on final outcomes. We begin with a general discussion of performance monitoring (hereafter PM), before considering the nature of the public sector and the implications of this for the implementation of such shemes within it. We then review the evidence and find a general lack of quantitative evidence on the impact of PM schemes on outcomes. This is partly due to the problem of attributing changes in outcome to the introduction of a specific PM scheme. One of our recommendations, therefore, is to consider piloting of PM schemes more widely in order to provide such evidence prior to national implementation.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Deborah Wilson, 2002. "Does Performance Monitoring Work? A Review of the Evidence from the UK Public Sector, Excluding Health Care," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 02/049, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:02/049

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Courty, Pascal & Marschke, Gerald, 1997. "Measuring Government Performance: Lessons from a Federal Job-Training Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 383-388, May.
    2. Propper, Carol & Croxson, Bronwyn & Shearer, Arran, 2002. "Waiting times for hospital admissions: the impact of GP fundholding," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 227-252, March.
    3. Croxson, B. & Propper, C. & Perkins, A., 2001. "Do doctors respond to financial incentives? UK family doctors and the GP fundholder scheme," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 375-398, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Pascal Courty & Gerald Marschke, 2004. "A General Test of Gaming," Economics Working Papers ECO2004/33, European University Institute.
    2. Deborah Wilson & Bronwyn Croxson & Adele Atkinson, 2004. "“What Gets Measured Gets Done”: Headteachers’ Responses to the English Secondary School," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/107, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

    More about this item


    performance monitoring; public sector;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:02/049. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.