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Curbing Cream-Skimming: Evidence on Enrolment Incentives

  • Courty, Pascal

    ()

    (European University Institute)

  • Kim, Do Han

    ()

    (University at Albany, SUNY)

  • Marschke, Gerald

    ()

    (University at Albany, SUNY)

Can enrolment incentives reduce the incidence of cream-skimming in the delivery of public sector services (e.g. education, health, job training)? In the context of a large government job training program, we investigate whether the use of enrolment incentives that set different 'shadow prices' for serving different demographic subgroups of clients, influence case workers' choice of intake population. Exploiting exogenous variation in these shadow prices, we show that training agencies change the composition of their enrollee populations in response to changes in the incentives, increasing the relative fraction of subgroups whose shadow prices increase. We also show that the increase is due to training agencies enrolling at the margin weaker members, in terms of performance, of that subgroup.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3909.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2011, 18 (5), 643-655
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3909
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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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Brian A. Jacob & Steven D. Levitt, 2003. "Rotten Apples: An Investigation Of The Prevalence And Predictors Of Teacher Cheating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 843-877, August.
  5. Ladd, Helen F., 1999. "The Dallas school accountability and incentive program: an evaluation of its impacts on student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-16, February.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. 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.
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