Management matters for firms, but what practices are optimal in hierarchical government organizations? And can skilled managers identify them? A large-scale randomized trial conducted with the police of Rajasthan, India, tested four interventions recommended by senior police officers: limitations of transfers, rotation of duties and days off, increased community involvement, and on-duty training. Field experience motivated a fifth intervention: "decoy" visits by enumerators to register cases, incentivizing staff to improve service. Only training and decoy visits had robust impacts; others were poorly implemented and ineffective. Management reforms can improve policing, but even skilled leaders struggle to identify the optimal interventions.
Banerjee, Abhijit, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo, Daniel Keniston, and Nina Singh.
"Improving Police Performance in Rajasthan, India: Experimental Evidence on Incentives, Managerial Autonomy, and Training."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
State and Local Government: Other Expenditure Categories
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Public Sector Labor Markets
Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Personnel Economics: Training
Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements