The article considers the issues of assessing the effectiveness of institutional changes occurring in the course of reforms in the spirit of New Public Management in Russia and foreign countries. The paper shows the contradictions of the reforms in the context of the problem of performance evaluation. The authors present the elements of scientific discourse on the nature and details of institutional changes in economic science and other social sciences, in particular, sociology and political science. We show both the contradictions in the existing systems of evaluation between the economic and political science approaches and the artificiality of barriers in the framework of interdisciplinary research. The authors propose an approach of the level-system for evaluating the effectiveness of institutional changes in the production of public services.