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date: 24 September 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Public organizations account for their performance through making public sector performance information publicly available, both to politicians through performance reporting, and to citizens through rankings, websites, and performance reports. This chapter reviews whether performance reporting makes public organizations more accountable: Do citizens and politicians actually consult and use performance information, and does this information change their decisions and behaviours? The chapter first looks at the use of performance metrics in political decision making, drivers of this use, and differences in use across groups. It subsequently reviews the literature on whether citizens use publicly available performance indicators and rankings to make an informed choice between alternative service providers. The focus is on school and hospital performance data. The chapter ends by discussing implications on equity, power relations, and the internal dynamics of organizations.

Keywords: Performance, accountability, rankings, choice

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