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Curbing cream-skimming: Evidence on enrolment incentives

  • Pascal Courty
  • Do Han Kim
  • Gerald Marschke1

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

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2009/03
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  1. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Marisa Ratto & Emma Tominey, 2003. "Incentives in the Public Sector: Some Preliminary Evidence from a UK Government Agency," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/080, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Heckman, James J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2003. "The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program," IZA Discussion Papers 798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Ladd, Helen F., 1996. "The Dallas School Accountability and Incentive Program: An Evaluation of Its Impacts on Student Outcomes," Working Papers 96-18, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Heckman, James J. & Heinrich, Carolyn J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2002. "The Performance of Performance Standards," IZA Discussion Papers 525, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser & Jennie E. Raymond, 1993. "The Effect of Creaming on Placement Rates under the Job Training Partnership Act," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(4), pages 613-624, July.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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