Is Active Representation an Organizational-Level Process? The Indirect Effect of Bureaucrats on Clients They Don’t Directly Serve

Nathan Favero, Angel Luis Molina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

A now well-established link exists between passive representation of racial and gender minorities in certain bureaucracies and substantive benefits for the represented groups. However, few quantitative studies have distinguished between the multiple possible mechanisms by which passive representation might produce such effects. We conduct a novel set of empirical analyses aimed at determining whether or not passive representation produces effects only for those clients who directly interact with bureaucrats who share their demographic characteristics or if passive representation produces broader organizational-level effects. We find strong evidence that minority clients’ outcomes are positively associated with representation in portions of the bureaucracy with which they do not directly interact. This suggests that either passive representation produces substantial bottom-up, organizational-level effects or that managers who recruit minority personnel also adopt policies that are favorable toward minority clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • bureaucratic outcomes
  • education
  • public sector diversity
  • race
  • representative bureaucracy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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