Never Change a Winning Policy? Public Sector Performance and Politicians’ Preferences for Reforms
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPAR: Public Administration Review, 2018, 78(2)206-216 http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/puar.12824
Despite the increasing stress on performance in public sector organizations, there is still little empirical evidence on whether—and if so, how—politicians respond to performance information. This article addresses this research gap by linking registry statistics on school performance in Norway's 428 municipalities with data from an information experiment embedded in a survey of local politicians. Findings show that school performance bears only a weak relationship to politicians' preferences for resource-related reforms, but it strongly affects preferences for governance-related reforms, indicating the importance of accounting for heterogeneity across alternative types of (school) reforms. Moreover, local politicians are, on average, well informed about school performance. This reflects the force of local inhabitants' high information level on politicians' accountability.
The accepted and peer reviewed manuscript to the article