NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Using Performance Incentives to Improve Medical Care Productivity and Health Outcomes

Paul Gertler, Christel Vermeersch

NBER Working Paper No. 19046
Issued in May 2013
NBER Program(s):   CH   DEV   HC   HE   LS

We nested a large-scale field experiment into the national rollout of the introduction of performance pay for medical care providers in Rwanda to study the effect of incentives for health care providers. In order to identify the effect of incentives separately from higher compensation, we held constant compensation across treatment and comparison groups - a portion of the treatment group's compensation was based on performance whereas the compensation of the comparison group was fixed. The incentives led to a 20% increase in productivity, and significant improvements in child health. We also find evidence of a strong complementarity between performance incentives and baseline provider skill.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19046

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