Panel Paper: Testing the Effectiveness of “Managing for Results”: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Friday, November 3, 2017
San Francisco (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Weijie Wang, State University of New York at Brockport and Ryan Yeung, Hunter College, City University of New York

An important part of performance management is the idea of “managing for results” (MFR). The core of MFR is decentralizing authority to managers in exchange for greater accountability. While managing for results makes much theoretical sense, there is a lack of  rigorous research on the effectiveness of MFR. In this study, we use a quasi-experimental design to examine the impact of a particular MFR reform in New York City, the Empowerment Zone (EZ), which focused on providing city public school principals greater autonomy to improve school outcomes. Our differences-in-differences estimates show that the EZ had a significant and positive effect on school performance as measured by proficiency rates in standardized English-Language Arts and mathematics exams and Regents diploma graduation rates, though the results were not immediately felt.  One possible mechanism behind this effect may be through increased turnover of non-tenured teachers.