Performance Measurement as a Political Discipline Mechanism

32 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2010 Last revised: 12 Nov 2013

Anthony M. Bertelli

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Peter John

University College London - School of Public Policy

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Date Written: September 9, 2010

Abstract

Governments at one level increasingly develop measures of the activities of policymakers at another. That policymaking behavior as well as the measures can have electoral consequences. A large literature has developed in public administration and policy that assesses the determinants and validity of performance measures and their influence on the strategic behavior of public organizations. While recognizing the progress made by this line of research, we introduce a theoretical framework that accounts for the political context in which performance measures emerge and are implemented. Specifically, we claim that superordinate governments use these kinds of performance measures as a political discipline mechanism (PDM) to incentivize the behavior of subordinate governments. We present a formal model and derive a set of testable implications of interest to researchers on performance management and bureaucratic politics

Keywords: Performance Measures, Distributive Politics, Bureaucratic Control, Public Administration and Management

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M. and John, Peter, Performance Measurement as a Political Discipline Mechanism (September 9, 2010). USC CLEO Research Paper No. C10-5; USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 10-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1571762 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1571762

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Peter John

University College London - School of Public Policy ( email )

29/30 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9QU
United Kingdom

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