Incentives, perquisites, and the real cost of education

From the NYT:

Compensation for the heads of some elite private K-12 schools in New York City is nearing $1 million.

Much in the city’s private school world can seem beyond the norm: the tuition and fees (topping $50,000 a year), the kindergarten application process (interviews for 4-year-olds), the facilities (climbing walls). And so too executive compensation that exceeds the pay of many college presidents.

“FOIA Lawsuits Surge in Trump Administration’s First Year”

From TRAC:

Since the new administration took office at the end of January 2017, there has been a sharp jump in the number of lawsuits filed by individuals and organizations seeking court orders to obtain federal government records. Suits brought by the news media and nonprofit advocacy organizations have fueled a significant part of this rise. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), requesters can file suit when information they are seeking is withheld and they have exhausted administrative appeals, or when the agency fails to even respond in a timely manner.

Lawsuits this past fiscal year rose an astonishing 26 percent, and are continuing to climb. FOIA court cases are now up over 70 percent from just five years ago.

Data for dissertations January 15, 2018

34748 Census of Population and Housing, 2010 [United States]: Demographic Profile Summary File

34977 Police Practitioner-Researcher Partnerships: Survey of Law Enforcement Executives, United States, 2010

35085 Healthy Young Men’s Study [Los Angeles County, CA, 2003-2005, Waves 1-5]

36517 Assessing the Influence of Home Visit Themes and Temporal Ordering On High-Risk Parolee Outcomes, Georgia, 2011-2015

36875 Eurobarometer 86.2: Standard Eurobarometer 86, November 2016

36965 Metacognitive evaluations during science simulations: How do ratings of confidence and understanding relate to science assessment inquiry processes?

Incentives and tournaments in public organizations

I’m pleased to announce that my new paper on tournaments and incentives will appear in Perspectives on Public Management and Governance. Here’s an abstract:

Advances in economic theory help us rethink the traditional public administration concern for accountability and performance in government. Reforms in government have concentrated on organizational designs that flow from piece-rate approaches to employee compensation, but they have largely ignored the prospects for incentive-compatibility within traditional personnel systems. There are important reasons to believe that competitive tournaments in public organization hierarchies, perhaps implemented in promotion systems, could be more effective than the pay-for-performance systems often called for in traditional principal-agent approaches, and therefore can be a useful component of the design of bureaucracies. More importantly, knowledge about tournaments in organizations helps us reconsider key institutional features of public bureaucracies.

Please reach out to me at if you would like a preprint.

Data for dissertations December 18, 2017

35467 Assessing Police Performance in Citizen Encounters, Schenectady and Syracuse, NY, 2011-2014

36052 Synthetic North Carolina Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Data, 2009-2013

36098 St Louis County Hot Spots in Residential Areas (SCHIRA) 2011-2013

36244 Evaluation of the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program in Six States, 2004-2014

36669 Eurobarometer 84.2: E-Communications in the Household, Awareness and Perception of Europeans about EU Customs, Europeans, Agriculture and the Common Agricultural Policy, October 2015

36682 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in Egypt, 2015

36751 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in Swaziland, 2015

36828 National Crime Victimization Survey, 2016

36861 Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, 2016 [United States]

36864 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in South Africa, 2015

36868 Research on Pathways to Desistance [Maricopa County, AZ and Philadelphia County, PA]: Release Measures – Scales, 2000-2010 [Restricted]

36031 Evaluation of the Shreveport, Louisiana Predictive Policing Programs, 2011-2012

36097 Evaluation of the Elder Abuse Decision Support System (EADSS) in Illinois, 2011-2014

36129 Evaluation of a Hot Spot Policing Field Experiment in St. Louis, 2012 – 2014

36348 Identifying Effective Counter-Trafficking Programs and Practices in the Unites States, 2003-2012

36446 A Multi-Method, Multi-Site Study of Gang Desistance, United States, 2012

36562 Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), 2004-2015 [28 COUNTRIES]

36668 Eurobarometer 84.1: Parlemeter, September 2015

36677 The Prevalence and Nature of Intra-and Inter-group Violence in an Era of Social and Demographic Change, 2000-2014 [UNITED STATES]

36698 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in Zimbabwe, 2014

36742 Afrobarometer Round 6: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in Senegal, 2014

36867 Research on Pathways to Desistance [Maricopa County, AZ and Philadelphia County, PA]: Collateral Measures – Scales, 2000-2010

Designing Systems for the Co-Production of Public Knowledge: Considerations for National Statistical Systems

I am pleased to say that “Designing Systems for the Co-Production of Public Knowledge: Considerations for National Statistical Systems,” written with Derrick Anderson of Arizona State, is now forthcoming at Policy Design and Practice. PDP is a new journal from Taylor & Francis. Here’s the abstract:

The functions of government are increasingly complex and information-driven. However, for many developing countries, the quality of information is poor and the consequences of that information poverty are substantial. If the goal is to establish or advance effective systems of government – in terms of formulating or implementing public policies by laws or rules – we have to consider how the design process can help attain that goal through improved information, data and evidence. National statistics are problems of governance, knowledge and design. While governments are primary users of national statistical systems, national statistical capacity is jointly determined because without contributions from non-state actors there is little hope of observing accurate data that expresses important social, economic and natural phenomena in any state – but especially so in failed, transitioning or struggling states. This paper discusses several findings from research studies for those who design and implement systems that collect, disseminate and interpret government statistics. These findings are derived from the literature on the co-production of public knowledge. The growth of complex, high dimensional data, accompanied by calls for investment in “big data” technologies and methods, will change how we collect and interpret data in many countries. Yet, our most important data enterprises are built on a human infrastructure with prospects that are both limited and supported by social factors. Organizations themselves must expend resources to navigate a world in which data is growing at exponential rates. But organizations are constrained and enabled by broader aspects of society that go well beyond government’s role in collecting, processing, and disseminating statistical data. As we discuss, one notable example is the relative presence of general purpose information technologies.

Please contact me or Derrick if you’d like a prepublication copy.