Multidimensional performance assessment of public sector organisations using dominance criteria

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Public sector organisations pursue multiple objectives and serve a number of stakeholders. But stakeholders are rarely explicit about the valuations they attach to different objectives, nor are these valuations likely to be identical. This complicates the assessment of their performance because no single set of weights can be chosen legitimately to aggregate outputs into unidimensional composite scores. We propose the use of dominance criteria in a multidimensional performance assessment framework to identify best practice and poor performance under relatively weak assumptions about stakeholders' preferences. We use as an example providers of hip replacement surgery in the English National Health Service and estimate multivariate multilevel models to study their performance in terms of length of stay, readmission rates, post-operative patient-reported health status and waiting time. We find substantial correlation between objectives and demonstrate that ignoring the correlation can lead to incorrect assessments of performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e13-e27
JournalHealth Economics
Issue number2
Early online date18 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2017 The Authors


  • multidimensional
  • multilevel modelling
  • performance assessment
  • provider classification

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