Performance Measurement as Policy Rhetoric: The Case of Federal Arts Councils
35 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 14, 2017
Various reforms at the federal level have led bureaucracies, including arts councils, to design and implement performance measurement systems. We still know very little about whether performance measurement has any influence on the external conditions of arts councils, or whether it serves as policy rhetoric for arts advocacy. In this article, we seek to understand the answers to these questions by conducting a case study of performance measurement at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). We conclude that there is little evidence that performance measurement at the NEA has had any appreciable effects on agency appropriation levels. Therefore, as a policy response to federally mandated performance measurement systems, arts councils might do better in focusing exclusively on metrics that capture internal efficiency, as opposed to those that serve to demonstrate performance to external constituencies.
Keywords: Performance Measurement, Federal Arts Councils, National Endowment for the Arts
JEL Classification: Z10, H83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation