The Performance of Performance Standards

61 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2002

See all articles by James J. Heckman

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Carolyn Heinrich

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Public Policy

Jeffrey A. Smith

University of Wisconsin - Madison; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2002

Abstract

This paper examines the performance of the JTPA performance system, a widely emulated model for inducing efficiency in government organizations. We present a model of how performance incentives may distort bureaucratic decisions. We define cream skimming within the model. Two major empirical findings are (a) that the short run measures used to monitor performance are weakly, and sometimes perversely, related to long run impacts and (b) that the efficiency gains or losses from cream skimming are small. We find evidence that centers respond to performance standards.

Keywords: Performance Standards, Reinventing Government, Evaluation, JTPA

JEL Classification: C31

Suggested Citation

Heckman, James J. and Heinrich, Carolyn and Smith, Jeffrey Andrew, The Performance of Performance Standards (July 2002). IZA Discussion Paper No. 525. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=322863

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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Carolyn Heinrich

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Public Policy ( email )

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Jeffrey Andrew Smith (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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