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Empirical evidence of the effects of performance-based public management is scarce. This report describes a framework used to organize available empirical information on one form of performance-based management, a performance-based accountability system (PBAS). Such a system identifies individuals or organizations that must change their behavior for the performance of an activity to improve, chooses an implicit or explicit incentive structure to motivate these organizations or individuals to change, and then chooses performance measures tailored to inform the incentive structure appropriately. The study focused on systems in the child-care, education, health-care, public health emergency preparedness, and transportation sectors, mainly in the United States. Analysts could use this framework to seek empirical information in other sectors and other parts of the world. Additional empirical information could help refine existing PBASs and, more broadly, improve decisions on where to initiate new PBASs, how to implement them, and then how to design, manage, and refine them over time.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    How a Performance-Based Accountability System Changes Service Delivery: An Analytic Overview

  • Chapter Three

    Empirical Questions to Ask When Studying a Performance-Based Accountability System

  • Chapter Four

    Conclusions

  • Appendix

    Inventory of Key Elements Relevant to How a Performance-Based Accountability System Works

The research described in this report was conducted within RAND Education, a unit of the RAND Education, under a grant from a private philanthropic foundation.

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