Can Bureaucrats Really Be Paid Like CEOS? School Administrator Incentives for Anemia Reduction in Rural China

79 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2015 Last revised: 9 Jul 2015

See all articles by Renfu Luo

Renfu Luo

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP)

Grant Miller

Stanford University - School of Medicine; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Scott Rozelle

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies

Sean Sylvia

Renmin University of China - School of Economics

Marcos Vera-Hernandez

University College London; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Date Written: June 2015

Abstract

Unlike performance incentives for private sector managers, little is known about performance incentives for managers in public sector bureaucracies. Through a randomized trial in rural China, we study performance incentives rewarding school administrators for reducing student anemia—as well as complementarity between incentives and orthogonally assigned discretionary resources. Large (but not small) incentives and unrestricted grants both reduced anemia, but incentives were more cost-effective. Although unrestricted grants and small incentives do not interact, grants fully crowd-out the effect of larger incentives. Our findings suggest that performance incentives can be effective in bureaucratic environments, but they are not complementary to discretionary resources.

Suggested Citation

Luo, Renfu and Miller, Grant and Rozelle, Scott and Sylvia, Sean and Vera-Hernandez, Marcos, Can Bureaucrats Really Be Paid Like CEOS? School Administrator Incentives for Anemia Reduction in Rural China (June 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21302. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2624429

Renfu Luo (Contact Author)

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) - Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP) ( email )

Building 917, Datun Road
Beijing 100101
China

Grant Miller

Stanford University - School of Medicine ( email )

291 Campus Drive
Li Ka Shing Building
Stanford, CA 94305-5101
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Scott Rozelle

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Sean Sylvia

Renmin University of China - School of Economics ( email )

No. 59, Zhongguancun Street
Beijing, Beijing 100080
China

Marcos Vera-Hernandez

University College London ( email )

Economics Dept.
Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+442076791007 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uctpamv

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

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