Incentive schemes for local government: theory and evidence from comprensive performance assessment in England
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy
American Economic Association
This paper studies Comprehensive Performance Assessment, an explicit incentive scheme for local government in England. Motivated by a theoretical political agency model, we predict that CPA should increase service quality and local taxation, but have an ambiguous effect on the efficiency of service provision. We test these predictions using Welsh local governments as a control group: CPA increased the property tax, and our index of service quality, but had no significant effect on efficiency overall. There is evidence of a heterogenous effect of CPA: it impacted more on councils where electoral competition was initially weak, in line with our theory.
Author's draft dated 26 April 2011. Final version available online at http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/pol/index.php
Vol. 5, Issue 3, pp. 254 - 286