Panel Paper: Benchmarking Fiscal Outcomes: The Role of Employee Training

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Truman - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Whitney Afonso, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Thomas Luke Spreen, University of Maryland and Ed Gerrish, University of South Dakota

This paper tests whether training local government personnel in the use of financial performance information impacts outcomes. This is accomplished by comparing the fiscal outcomes of North Carolina local governments whose employees participated in training on the North Carolina fiscal benchmarking tool to those that did not. While the mean outcomes of local governments exposed to training were essentially the same as untrained units, the dispersion of several measured outcomes declined to a greater extent among the trained local governments in the fiscal years after training. The strength of this response increases with the number of employees trained. The results indicate that employee training can facilitate the use of performance benchmarking systems in the public sector, and that benchmarking may also encourage convergence toward the average outcome.

Full Paper: