Career Incentives for Civil Servant: A RCT Design


The proposed research investigates career incentives in the governance system in a randomized control trial. We partner with a provincial government in China to test how alternative performance evaluation schemes affect the performances of College Graduates Village Officials (CGVOs). Proposed schemes range from the status quo of delegation to local officials with total discretion, to a transparent performance score based on easily observable high signal-to-noise ratio indicators. We also test two intermediate evaluation schemes, a transparent scoring formula including a larger set but of lower signal-to-noise ratio indicators, and giving discretion to the local officials to decide on the weighting scheme but not the components of the performance score. The objective is to understand whether the levels of precision, transparency, and delegation in assigning performance scores improve the power of incentives, and to detect potential trade-offs in performance along non-incentivized dimensions.

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