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The likely impacts of target setting and performance rewards in local transport

Marsden, G, Kelly, CE and Nellthorp, J (2009) The likely impacts of target setting and performance rewards in local transport. Transport Policy, 16 (2). 55 - 67 . ISSN 0967-070X


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All local transport authorities in England have, since 2000, been obliged to submit 5-year plans for local transport. The plans set out the overall strategy, key policies that will be implemented and how the strategy will be resourced. The central government now adjusts the funding allocations up or down by up to 25% based on the quality of the plans and, on an on-going basis, achievement against the targets proposed in these plans. This paper presents a theoretical and practical assessment of the impacts of these incentives on local authority performance. The research has employed a mixed-methods approach with interviews, questionnaires, the development of a game theoretic representation of the process and a laboratory experiment. The findings have been discussed with practitioners. The research suggests that the presence of performance rewards, in a scheme where authorities believe they have a reasonable chance of being rewarded, leads to authorities setting more ambitious targets. Whilst it is not certain that these targets will be met it appears that the absolute outcomes achieved are likely to be better than they otherwise would have been. Generic conclusions are drawn about the conditions under which target-based performance reward schemes will work best.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Elsevier. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Transport Policy. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2011 11:55
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:35
Published Version: htp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2009.03.003
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2009.03.003
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43522

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