Using Performance Incentives to Improve Medical Care Productivity and Health Outcomes

37 Pages Posted: 18 May 2013

See all articles by Paul J. Gertler

Paul J. Gertler

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Christel Vermeersch

World Bank

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

We nested a large-scale field experiment into the national rollout of the introduction of performance pay for medical care providers in Rwanda to study the effect of incentives for health care providers. In order to identify the effect of incentives separately from higher compensation, we held constant compensation across treatment and comparison groups - a portion of the treatment group's compensation was based on performance whereas the compensation of the comparison group was fixed. The incentives led to a 20% increase in productivity, and significant improvements in child health. We also find evidence of a strong complementarity between performance incentives and baseline provider skill.

Suggested Citation

Gertler, Paul J. and Vermeersch, Christel, Using Performance Incentives to Improve Medical Care Productivity and Health Outcomes (May 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19046. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2266713

Paul J. Gertler (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Christel Vermeersch

World Bank ( email )

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