Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

The most ubiquitous governmental reform in recent decades has been the requirement for agencies to track and strategic goals, targets, and achievements. Citizens, elected officials, and public managers have more performance information now than at any point in the past. But scholars and policymakers give relatively little attention to encouraging the use of performance information or to understanding the factors that lead to use.

Launched by professor Donald Moynihan in 2009, the Performance Information Project (PIP) aggregates contemporary empirical research on how performance data are used in public services. The primary goals of PIP are to a) facilitate an international network of scholars interested in advancing knowledge on performance information use, and b) inform practitioners who are seeking to foster data-driven management.

The list of papers here inevitably will be incomplete. If you know of any other work that you believe should be included, or any other feedback about the site, please contact Professor Moynihan

Published Research

Ammons, D. N. and W. C. Rivenbark. 2008. Factors influencing the use of performance data to improve municipal services: Evidence from the North Carolina benchmarking projectPublic Administration Review 68(2): 304-318.

Ammons, David and Dale J. Roenigk. 2015. Benchmarking and Interorganizational Learning in Local Government. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 25(1):309-335.

Amirkhanyan, Anna A.; Kim, Hyun Joon; and Lambright, Kristina T. 2014. "The Performance Puzzle: Understanding the Factors Influencing Alternative Dimensions and Views of Performance.Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory 24 (1): 1-34

Andersen, Lotte Bøgh; Boesen, Andreas; Pedersen, Lene Holm. 2016. “Performance in Public Organizations: Clarifying the Conceptual Space.” Public Administration Review, 76 (6): 852-862.

Andersen, Simon Calmar; Hjortskov, Morten. 2016. “Cognitive Biases in Performance Evaluations. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 26 (4): 647-662.

Anderson, Derrick M.; Stritch, Justin M. 2016. “Goal Clarity, Task Significance, and Performance: Evidence From a Laboratory Experiment.” Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 26 (2): 211-225.

Arndt, Christiane and Charles Oman. Uses and Abuses of Governance Indicators.  OECD: Paris

Askim, Jostein, Åge Johnsen, and Knut-Andreas Christophersen.  2008. Factors behind organizational learning from benchmarking: Experiences from Norwegian municipal benchmarking networks.  Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 18:297-320.

Askim, Jostein. 2007. How Do Politicians Use Performance Information? An Analysis of the Norwegian Local Government ExperienceInternational Review of Administrative Sciences 73 (3):453–472.

Baekgaard, Martin; Serritzlew, Søren. 2015. “Interpreting Performance Information: Motivated Reasoning or Unbiased Comprehension.” Public Administration Review, 76 (1): 73-82. Pre-publication version.

Barnow, Burt S., and Carolyn J. Heinrich. 2010.   "One Standard Fits All? The Pros and Cons of Performance Standard Adjustments." Public Administration Review70(1): 60-71.  La Follette School Working Paper No. 2008-023.

Barrows, Samuel; Henderson, Michael; Peterson, Paul E.; West, Martin R. 2016. “Relative Performance Information and Perceptions of Public Service Quality: Evidence From American School Districts. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 26 (3): 571-583.

Bernstein, D.J. (2001). Local government measurement use to focus on performance and results. Evaluation and Program Planning, 24(1), 95-101.

Braadbaart, O. 2007. Collaborative benchmarking, transparency and performance: Evidence from the Netherlands water supply industryBenchmarking: An International Journal 14(6): 677-692.

Behn, Robert D.  2007. What all mayors would like to know about Baltimore’s CitiStat performance strategy. Washington D.C.: IBM Center for the Business of Government. 

Bevan, Gwyn, and Christopher Hood.  2005.  What's measured is what matters: Targets and faming in the English public health care systemPublic Administration84(3): 517-38.

Bischoff, Ivo; Blaeschke, Frédéric. 2016. “Performance Budgeting: Incentives and Social Waste From Window Dressing. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 26 (2): 344-358.

Bourdeaux, Carolyn, and Grace Chikoto.  2008.  Legislative influences on performance management reform.  Public Administration Review 68:253-65. 

Boyne, G. A. 1996.  Scale, performance and the new public management: An empirical analysis of local authority servicesJournal of Management Studies 33(6): 809-826.

Can, Y.C.L.  2004.  Performance measurement and adoption of balanced scorecards: A survey of municipal governments in the USA and CanadaInternational Journal of Public Sector Management 17(3): 204-221. 

Carlson, Deven E.; Cowen, Joshua M.; Fleming, David J. 2014. “Third-Party Governance and Performance Measurement: A Case Study of Publicly Funded Private School Vouchers. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 24 (4): 897-922.

de Lancer Julnes, Patria, and Marc Holzer.  2001.  Promoting the utilization of performance measures in public organizations: An empirical study of factors affecting adoption and implementationPublic Administration Review 61:693-708.

Demaj, Labinot. 2017. “What Can Performance Information Do to Legislators? A Budget-Decision Experiment with Legislators.” Public Administration Review, 77 (3): 366-379.

Demaj, Labinot, and Lukas Summermatter. 2012. What Should We Know about Politicians' Performance Information Need and Use? International Public Management Review 13(2): 85-111.

Derrick-Mills, Teresa, Heather Sandstrom, Sarah Pettijohn, Saunji Fyffe, and Jeremy Koulish. 2014. Data Use for Continuous Quality Improvement: What the Head Start Field Can Learn From Other Disciplines, A Literature Review and Conceptual Framework. OPRE Report #2014-77. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Döring, Heike; Downe, James; Martin, Steve. 2015. “Regulating Public Services: How Public Managers Respond to External Performance Assessment.” Public Administration Review, 75 (6): 867-877.

Dull, Matthew.  2009.  Results-model reform leadership: Questions of credible commitment.  Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 19:255-84.

Favero, Nathan; Kenneth J. Meier. 2013. “Evaluating Urban Public Schools: Parents, Teachers, and State Assessments.” Public Administration Review, 73 (3): 401-412.

Fernandez, Sergio, Yook Jik Cho, and James L. Perry.  2010.  Exploring the link between integrated leadership and public sector performance.  The Leadership Quarterly. 

Folz, David, Reem Abdelrazek and Yeonsoo Chung. 2009. Adoption and Use of Performance Measures in Medium-Sized Cities. Public Performance and Management Review. Vol. 33: 63-87. Prepublication version.

Frey, Kathrin. 2010. Revising Road Safety Policy: The Role of Systematic Evidence in SwitzerlandGovernance 23(4): 667-690. Pre-publication version here.

Geys, Benny; Sørensen, Rune J. 2017. “Never Change a Winning Policy? Public Sector Performance and Politicians' Preferences for Reforms.Public Administration Review, Pre-publication version.

Gill, Derek (ed). 2011. The Iron Cage Recreated: The Performance Management of State Organizations in New Zealand. Wellington, NZ: The Institute of Policy Studies. 

Hammerschmid, Gerhard, Steven Van de Walle and Vid Stimac. 2013, July. Internal and external use of performance information in public organizations: results from an international survey. Public Money and Management.

Hassan, Shahidul; Hatmaker, Deneen M. 2015. “Leadership and Performance of Public Employees: Effects of the Quality and Characteristics of Manager-Employee Relationships. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 25 (4): 1127-1155.

Heinrich, Carolyn and Gerald Marschke. 2010. Incentives and Their Dynamics in Public Sector Performance Management SystemsJournal of Policy Analysis and Management 29(1): 183–208.

Ho, Alfred Tat-Kei.  2003. Perceptions of performance measurement and the practice of performance reporting by small cities. State and Local Government Review 35(3): 161-173.

Heinrich, Carolyn J. 2007. “False or Fitting Recognition? The Use of High Performance Bonuses in Motivating Organizational Achievements.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 26(2): 281-304.

Heinrich, Carolyn J. and Youseok Choi. 2007. “Performance-based Contracting in Social Welfare Programs.” The American Review of Public Administration 37(4): 409-435.

Heinrich, Carolyn J. 1999. Do Governments Make Effective Use of Performance Information? Journal of Public Administration and Research Theory 9 (3): 363-394

Hvidman, Ulrik; Andersen, Simon Calmar. 2016. “Perceptions of Public and Private Performance: Evidence from a Survey Experiment.” Public Administration Review, 76 (1): 111-120.

James, Oliver.  2010. Performance Measures and Democracy: Information Effects on Citizens in Field and Laboratory Experiments.  Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Advance Access.

James, Oliver, and Peter John. 2007. "Public Management at the Ballot Box: Performance Information and Electoral Support for Incumbent English Local Governments." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 17 (4): 567-580.

Jansen, E. Pieter. 2008. New Public Management: Perspectives on Performance and the Use of Performance InformationFinancial Accountability & Management 24 (2):169-191.

Johansson, Tobias, and Sven Siverbo. 2009. Explaining the Utilization of Relative Performance Evaluation in Local Government: A Multi-Theoretical Study Using Data From SwedenFinancial Accountability & Management 25 (2):197-224.

Kelman, Steven, and Friedman, John N. 2009. Performance improvement and performance dysfunction: An empirical examination of distortionary impacts of the emergency room wait time target in the English national health service. Journal of Public Administration and Research Theory 19 (4): 917-946.

Kroll, Alex. 2013. Explaining the Use of Performance Information by Public Managers: A Planned-Behavior ApproachAmerican Review of Public Administration 

Kroll, Alexander. 2013. “The Other Type of Performance Information: Nonroutine Feedback, Its Relevance and Use.” Public Administration Review, 73 (2): 265-276.

Kroll, Alexander. 2014. Drivers of Performance Information Use: Systematic Literature Review and Directions for Future Research. Forthcoming in Public Performance & Management Review

Kroll, Alexander. 2014. Why Performance Information Use Varies Among Public Managers: Testing Manager-Related ExplanationsInternational Public Management Journal 17(2): 174–201.

Kroll, Alexander; Moynihan, Donald P. 2015. “Does Training Matter? Evidence from Performance Management Reforms.” Public Administration Review, 75 (3): 411-420. Pre publication version available through LaFollette School Working Paper Series.

Kroll, Alexander; Moynihan, Donald P. 2018. “The Design and Practice of Integrating Evidence: Connecting Performance Management with Program Evaluation.” Public Administration Review 78(2): 183-194 Pre Publication version available through LaFollette School Working Paper Series.

Kroll, Alexander, and Proeller, Isabella. 2013. Controlling the control system: Performance information in the German childcare administration. International Journal of Public Sector Management 26 (1): 74-85.

Kroll, Alexander, and Vogel, Dominik. 2013. “The PSM-Leadership Fit: A Model of Performance Information Use.” Forthcoming in Public Administration.

Langbein, L. 2008. Management by results: Student evaluation of faculty teaching and the mis-measurement of performanceEconomics of Education Review 27(4): 417-428.

Lavertu, Stéphane and Donald P. Moynihan. “Agency Political Ideology on Reform Implementation: Performance Management in the Bush Administration” Forthcoming at Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Available as La Follette School Working Paper 2012-009.

Lavertu, Stephane, David E. Lewis and Donald P. Moynihan. Government Reform, Political Ideology, and Administrative Burden: The Case of Performance Management in the Bush Administration. Forthcoming in Public Administration Review. Available asLa Follette School Working Paper No. 2013-011.

LeRoux, Kelly and Nathaniel S. Wright. Forthcoming. Does Performance Measurement Improve Strategic Decision Making? Findings From a National Survey of Nonprofit Social Service AgenciesNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

Lewis, David. 2007. Testing Pendleton's premise: Do political appointees make worse bureaucrats? Journal of Politics 69 (4): 1073-88.

Lindblad, Mark Richard. 2006. Performance Measurement in Local Economic Development Urban Affairs Review 41 (5):646-672.

Lu, Yi. 2007. Performance Budgeting: The Perspective of State Agencies Public Budgeting & Finance 27 (4):1-17.

Melkers, Julia, and Katherine Willoughby. 2005. Models of performance-measurement use in local governments. Public Administration Review 65:180-90.

Moynihan, Donald P.; Kroll, Alexander. 2015. “Performance Management Routines That Work? An Early Assessment of the GPRA Modernization Act.” Public Administration Review, 76 (2): 314-323. Pre-publication version from LaFollette School Working Paper Series.

Moynihan, Donald P. 2013. The New Federal Performance System: Implementing the New GPRA Modernization Act. Washington, D.C.: IBM Center for The Business of Government.

Moynihan, Donald. 2013. "Advancing the Empirical Study of Performance Management: What we Learned from the Program Assessment Rating Tool." Forthcoming in American Review of Public Administration. Available as La Follette School Working Paper No. 2013-003.

Moynihan, Donald. 2012, February. "Performance Management in U.S. State Governments.” PREMNotes. Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, World Bank.

Moynihan, Donald P., Sergio Fernandez, Soonhee Kim, Kelly M. LeRoux, Suzanne J. Piotrowski, Bradley E. Wright, Kaifeng Yang. 2011. "Performance Regimes Amidst Governance Complexity." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 21: i141-i155.

Moynihan, Donald P. and Daniel Hawes. 2012. “Responsiveness to Reform Values: The Influence of the Environment on Performance Information Use.” Public Administration Review 72(S1): 95-105. 

Moynihan, Donald, and Lavertu, Stéphane. 2011. "Does Involvement in Performance Management Routines Encourage Performance Information Use? Evaluating GPRA and PART." La Follette School Working Paper No. 2011-017. Forthcoming in Public Administration Review .

Moynihan, Donald, and Lavertu, Stéphane. 2012, October. "Do Performance Reforms Change How Federal Managers Manage?Issues in Governance Studies. No. 52. Brookings Institution.

Moynihan, Donald P. and Stéphane Lavertu.  2012. “The Effects of Performance Management Reforms: Evidence from the United States Federal Government.”Chinese Journal of Public Management. 9(2): 98-105. (In Mandarin).

Moynihan, Donald P., Wright, Bradley, and Sanjay Pandey.  “Setting the Table: How Transformational Leadership Fosters Performance Information Use.” Forthcoming at Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

Moynihan, Donald P. and Pamela Herd.  2010. “Red Tape and Democracy: How Rules Affect Citizenship Rights.” American Review of Public Administration 40(6): 654-670.

Moynihan, Donald P. and Sanjay K. Pandey. 2010. "The Big Question for Performance Management: Why Do Managers Use Performance Information?" Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 20(4): 849-866

Moynihan, Donald P. 2009. “The Politics Measurement Makes: Performance Management in the Obama Era.” The Forum. 7(4): article 7.

Moynihan, Donald P. and Noel Landuyt. 2009. “How do Public Organizations Learn? Bridging Structural and Cultural Divides.” Public Administration Review. 69(6): 1097-1105.

Moynihan, Donald P. 2009. “Through a Glass Darkly: Understanding the Effects of Performance Regimes.” Public Performance & Management Review 32(4): 586-598. Available through ejournals and as La Follette School Working Paper 2009-020.

Moynihan, Donald P. 2006. Managing for Results in State Government: Evaluating a Decade of ReformPublic Administration Review 66(1): 78-90.

Moynihan, Donald P. 2005. Why and How Do State Governments Adopt and Implement 'Managing for Results' Reforms? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 15(2): 219-243. Available through Proquest.

Moynihan, Donald P. 2005. Goal-Based Learning and the Future of Performance ManagementPublic Administration Review 65(2):203-216.

Moore, A., James Nolan, and Geoffrey F. Segal. 2005. Putting out the trash: Measuring municipal service efficiency in U.S. citiesUrban Affairs Review 41(2): 237-259.

Nielsen, Poul A. and Christian B. Jacobsen (2018). Zone of Acceptance under Performance Measurement: Does Performance Information Affect Employee Acceptance of Management Authority? Public Administration Review

Nielsen, Poul A. and Donald P. Moynihan (2017). Romanticizing Bureaucratic Leadership? The Politics of How Elected Officials Attribute Responsibility for Performance Governance, 30(4), 541-559.

Nielsen, Poul A.; Moynihan, Donald P. 2017. “How Do Politicians Attribute Bureaucratic Responsibility for Performance? Negativity Bias and Interest Group Advocacy. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 27 (2): 269-283.

Nielsen, Poul A.; Baekgaard, Martin. 2015. “Performance Information, Blame Avoidance, and Politicians’ Attitudes to Spending and Reform: Evidence from an Experiment. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 25 (2): 545-569.

Nielsen, Poul Aaes. In Press. Learning from Performance Feedback: Performance Information, Aspiration Levels and Managerial Priorities. Public Administration.

Olsen, Asmus Leth. 2016. “Human Interest or Hard Numbers? Experiments on Citizens’ Selection, Exposure, and Recall of Performance Information.” Public Administration Review, 77 (3) 408-420. Pre-publication version.

Olsen, Asmus Leth. 2017. “Compared to What? How Social and Historical Reference Points Affect Citizens’ Performance Evaluations. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 27 (4): 562-580.

Olsen, A. L. (2013). Leftmost-digit-bias in an Enumerated Public Sector? An Experiment on Citizens’ Judgment of Performance InformationJudgment and Decision Making, 8 (3), 365–371

Partnership for Public Service and Grant Thornton LLP. 2011. A Critical Role at a Critical Time: A Survey of Performance Improvement Officers.

Rabovsky, Thomas. 2014. “Support for Performance-Based Funding: The Role of Political Ideology, Performance, and Dysfunctional Information Environments.” Public Administration Review, 74 (6): 761-774.

Rabovsky, Thomas. 2014. “Using Data to Manage for Performance at Public Universities.” Public Administration Review, 74 (6): 260-272.

Radin, Beryl. 2006. Challenging the performance movement: Accountability, complexity, and democratic valuesWashington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Rogers, Martha Kinney. 2006. Explaining Performance Measurement Utilization and Benefits: An Examination of Performance Measurement Practices in Local Governments. Department of Public Administration, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

Schulz, Martin. 2001. The uncertain relevance of newness: Organizational learning and knowledge flowsAcademy of Management Journal 44:661-81.

Steinberg, Harold. 2009. State and local governments’ use of performance measures to improve service deliveryAdvancing Government Accountability. Corporate Partner Advisory Group Research Series: Report No. 23.

Van Dooren, Wouter.  Forthcoming. Better Performance Management: Some Single and Double Loop StrategiesPublic Performance & Management Review.

Van Dooren, Wouter, Geert Bouckaert, John Halligan. 2010. Performance Management in the Public Sector. Routledge.

Van Dooren, Wouter and Steven Van de Walle (eds). 2008. Performance Information in the Public Sector: How it is Used. Palgrave Press.

Walker, Richard M., Fariborz Damanpour, and Carlos A. Devece. 2010. Management Innovation and Organizational Performance: The Mediating Effect of Performance Management. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Advance Access.

Wang, Xiahou 2000. Performance Measurement in Budgeting: A Study of County
Public Budgeting and Finance 20(3): 102-118

Wichowsky, Amber and Donald P. Moynihan. 2008. “Measuring How Administration Shapes Citizenship: A Policy Feedback Perspective on Performance Management.”Public Administration Review. 68(5): 908-920.

Willis, James J., Stephen D. Mastrofski, and David Weisburd. 2007. Making sense of COMPSTATLaw & Society Review 41:147-188.

Yang, Kaifeng, and Jun Yi Hsieh. 2006. Managerial effectiveness of government performance measurement: Testing a middle range modelPublic Administration Review 67:861-79.

Zaltsman, Ariel. 2009. The Effects of Performance Information on Public Resource Allocations: A Study of Chile's Performance-Based Budgeting System.
International Public Management Journal 12 (4):450-483.

New Research

Beerkens, Maarja. 2009. The effectiveness of management practices in the knowledge sector: Evidence from Australian universitiesThe Public Service: Service Delivery in the Information Age. Presented at the EGPA Conference 2009: St. Julian’s, Malta.

Kroll, Alexander. Forthcoming. Exploring the Link between Performance Information Use and Organizational Performance: A Contingency ApproachPublic Performance and Management Review.

Kogan, Vladimir, and Stephane Lavertu. Performance Federalism and Local Democracy: Theory and Evidence from School Levies

Kogan, Vladimir, and Stephane Lavertu. Performance Measurement and School Board Elections: Do School Report Cards Produce Accountability at the Ballot Box?

Moynihan, Donald P., Sanjay Pandey and Bradley E. Wright.  “Prosocial Values and Performance Management Theory: The Link between Perceived Social Impact and Performance Information Use,” La Follette School Working Paper No. 2011-010. Forthcoming at Governance.

Moynihan, Donald, and Alex Kroll. 2014. Performance Management Routines that Work: An Early Assessment of the GPRA Modernization Act. La Follette School Working Paper No. 2014-005.

Nielsen, Poul Aaes and Martin Baekgaard. Does performance information affect politicians’ attitudes to spending and organizational reform?

Olsen, A. L. 2013. Compared to What? Reference Points in Performance Evaluation. Paper presented at the 11th Public Management Research Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, June 20-23 2013.

Olsen, A. L. 2013. Framing Performance Information: An Experimental Study of the Negativity Bias. Presented at the 11th Public Management Research Conference Madison, Wisconsin, June 20-23 2013. 

Olsen, A. L. 2013. Naming Bad Performance: Can Performance Disclosure Drive Improvements? Midwest Political Association Meeting 2012 and 2013. 

Taylor, Jeanette. Forthcoming. ‘Factors Influencing the Use of Performance Information for Decision Making in Australian State Agencies’Public Administration.

Tantardini, Michele, and Alexander Kroll. 2014. The Role of Organizational Social Capital in Performance Management. Forthcoming in Public Performance and Management Review.

Related Research

The ESRC’s Public Services Programme provides research on performance incentives, performance management, and performance metrics.

The Performance Management, Measurement and Information (PMMI) project provides cases studies of performance management in local government in the United Kingdom.

German Research Institute for Public Administration. Performance Measurement and Benchmarking in the Public Sector: A European Cross-Country Comparison.

Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Service Efforts and Accomplishments Case Studies

Performance Management in California State Government

IBM Endowment for the Business of Government Performance Improvement Reports