New article on Incentives and tournaments in public organizations

My new paper on tournaments and incentives is now available under Advance Access at Perspectives on Public Management and Governance. Here’s the 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.

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.

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 aw@uga.edu if you would like a preprint.

Is regulation scholarship in crisis?

Martin Lodge of CARR at the London School of Economics and Political Science has assembled a great group of papers on the question of whether regulation scholarship is in crisis given recent events in a number of countries. Gary Miller and I contributed a small piece that describes what our recent Cambridge University Press book Above Politics: Bureaucratic Discretion and Credible Commitment has to say on the matter. You can find the entire document online at this link.

New commentary for Osservatorio AIR

Gary Miller and I have written a short description of our recent Cambridge University Press book Above Politics: Bureaucratic Discretion and Credible Commitment. It is posted on the site of Osservatorio AIR, a center in Rome that specializes in research and studies on impact assessment, simplification, transparency, and participation as ways of improving regulation. The description can be found at http://www.osservatorioair.it/research-note-above-politics-bureaucratic-discretion-and-credible-commitment/.