Professor pens report: Merit-based Pay and Employee Motivation in Federal Agencies

Numerous state governments and federal agencies have launched competitive, merit-based pay systems as part of governmental reform efforts. However, concerns remain about the challenges of implementing incentive systems like those found in firms in public institutions – especially since we do not know much about how such systems perform in different organizational contexts. There is evidence from the private sector that merit-based pay can enhance worker productivity, but few studies explore these questions in the context of public organizations.

BROOKINGS: ISSUES IN GOVERNANCE STUDIES [PDF]