When Claimant Characteristics and Prior Performance Predict Bureaucratic Error

Sangyub Ryu, Jeffrey B. Wenger, Vicky M. Wilkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The public administration literature has paid scant attention to bureaucratic errors as performance measures. This has largely been due to a lack of data. Unlike most programs, the unemployment insurance (UI) program has systematically collected performance data and has independently audited those data to determine error responsibility (employer, employee, and agency error). In the first comprehensive analysis of these data, we examine the probability that a bureaucrat makes an error involving nonpayment of UI benefits and theorize about the reasons for these errors. Our findings indicate that the previous UI office error rate is a good predictor of current error rates, demonstrating that poorly performing offices remain poor performers. In addition, local offices with high error rates account for a disproportionate percentage of the errors, indicating a need to examine agency management. Second, errors are more commonly made on cases involving White UI claimants and claimants with a college education. Finally, we find that claimants who have higher self-valuation, are less likely to experience agency errors. Taken together, these results point to systematic agency errors. Public managers and the unemployed would be better served if training efforts and performance targets were developed with these systematic error effects in mind.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-714
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 1

Fingerprint

performance
unemployment insurance
insurance benefit
public administration
employee
manager
responsibility
Unemployment insurance
lack
management
education
experience

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

Cite this

Ryu, Sangyub ; Wenger, Jeffrey B. ; Wilkins, Vicky M. / When Claimant Characteristics and Prior Performance Predict Bureaucratic Error. In: American Review of Public Administration. 2012 ; Vol. 42, No. 6. pp. 695-714.
@article{dd4ca51a8b8b48fe878900c73a0cb64d,
title = "When Claimant Characteristics and Prior Performance Predict Bureaucratic Error",
abstract = "The public administration literature has paid scant attention to bureaucratic errors as performance measures. This has largely been due to a lack of data. Unlike most programs, the unemployment insurance (UI) program has systematically collected performance data and has independently audited those data to determine error responsibility (employer, employee, and agency error). In the first comprehensive analysis of these data, we examine the probability that a bureaucrat makes an error involving nonpayment of UI benefits and theorize about the reasons for these errors. Our findings indicate that the previous UI office error rate is a good predictor of current error rates, demonstrating that poorly performing offices remain poor performers. In addition, local offices with high error rates account for a disproportionate percentage of the errors, indicating a need to examine agency management. Second, errors are more commonly made on cases involving White UI claimants and claimants with a college education. Finally, we find that claimants who have higher self-valuation, are less likely to experience agency errors. Taken together, these results point to systematic agency errors. Public managers and the unemployed would be better served if training efforts and performance targets were developed with these systematic error effects in mind.",
author = "Sangyub Ryu and Wenger, {Jeffrey B.} and Wilkins, {Vicky M.}",
year = "2012",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0275074011435151",
language = "English",
volume = "42",
pages = "695--714",
journal = "American Review of Public Administration",
issn = "0275-0740",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "6",

}

When Claimant Characteristics and Prior Performance Predict Bureaucratic Error. / Ryu, Sangyub; Wenger, Jeffrey B.; Wilkins, Vicky M.

In: American Review of Public Administration, Vol. 42, No. 6, 01.11.2012, p. 695-714.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - When Claimant Characteristics and Prior Performance Predict Bureaucratic Error

AU - Ryu, Sangyub

AU - Wenger, Jeffrey B.

AU - Wilkins, Vicky M.

PY - 2012/11/1

Y1 - 2012/11/1

N2 - The public administration literature has paid scant attention to bureaucratic errors as performance measures. This has largely been due to a lack of data. Unlike most programs, the unemployment insurance (UI) program has systematically collected performance data and has independently audited those data to determine error responsibility (employer, employee, and agency error). In the first comprehensive analysis of these data, we examine the probability that a bureaucrat makes an error involving nonpayment of UI benefits and theorize about the reasons for these errors. Our findings indicate that the previous UI office error rate is a good predictor of current error rates, demonstrating that poorly performing offices remain poor performers. In addition, local offices with high error rates account for a disproportionate percentage of the errors, indicating a need to examine agency management. Second, errors are more commonly made on cases involving White UI claimants and claimants with a college education. Finally, we find that claimants who have higher self-valuation, are less likely to experience agency errors. Taken together, these results point to systematic agency errors. Public managers and the unemployed would be better served if training efforts and performance targets were developed with these systematic error effects in mind.

AB - The public administration literature has paid scant attention to bureaucratic errors as performance measures. This has largely been due to a lack of data. Unlike most programs, the unemployment insurance (UI) program has systematically collected performance data and has independently audited those data to determine error responsibility (employer, employee, and agency error). In the first comprehensive analysis of these data, we examine the probability that a bureaucrat makes an error involving nonpayment of UI benefits and theorize about the reasons for these errors. Our findings indicate that the previous UI office error rate is a good predictor of current error rates, demonstrating that poorly performing offices remain poor performers. In addition, local offices with high error rates account for a disproportionate percentage of the errors, indicating a need to examine agency management. Second, errors are more commonly made on cases involving White UI claimants and claimants with a college education. Finally, we find that claimants who have higher self-valuation, are less likely to experience agency errors. Taken together, these results point to systematic agency errors. Public managers and the unemployed would be better served if training efforts and performance targets were developed with these systematic error effects in mind.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84867256853&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84867256853&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0275074011435151

DO - 10.1177/0275074011435151

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 695

EP - 714

JO - American Review of Public Administration

JF - American Review of Public Administration

SN - 0275-0740

IS - 6

ER -