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ERIC Number: ED545669
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 54
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Subjective Performance Evaluation in the Public Sector: Evidence from School Inspections. CEE DP 135
Hussain, Iftikhar
Centre for the Economics of Education
Performance measurement in the public sector is largely based on objective metrics, which may be subject to gaming behaviour. This paper investigates a novel subjective performance evaluation system where independent inspectors visit schools at very short notice, publicly disclose their findings and sanction schools rated fail. First, I demonstrate that inspection ratings can aid in distinguishing between more and less effective schools, even after controlling for standard observed school characteristics. Second, exploiting a natural experiment, I show that a fail inspection leads to test score gains; at least some of these gains persist in the medium term. I find no evidence to suggest that fail schools are able to inflate test score performance by gaming the system. Oversight by inspectors may play an important role in mitigating such strategic behaviour. An appendix contains four tables: (1) Table A1: Proportion of Students Attaining the Official Target, by Prior Ability; (2) Table A2: OLS and Difference-in-Differences Estimates of the Effect of a Fail Inspection on Mathematics Test Scores; (3) Table A3: OLS and Difference-in-Differences Estimates of the Effect of a Fail Inspection on English Test Scores; and (4) Table A4: Effect of a Fail Inspection on Teacher Tenure, Years of Experience and School Curriculum.
Centre for the Economics of Education. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK. Tel: +44-20-7955-7673; Fax: +44-20-7955-7595; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: London School of Economics & Political Science, Centre for the Economics of Education
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)