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Beyond Majority Versus Minority: Bureaucracy, Distributional Outcomes, and a Racialized Multiethnic Society

EasyChair Preprint no. 1142

54 pagesDate: June 9, 2019


Existing research on racial dynamics in public administration (PA) rarely considers racism in an explicit manner, despite considerable evidence from other disciplines that many organizations pay a role in perpetuating racial inequality. Another limitation of the PA literature is that it typically draws on biracial frameworks, focusing on white versus minority, or same-race versus different-race. Sociological studies, however, suggest that different racial groups occupy different places in the racialized social system of the U.S. This study contributes to the literature by introducing the framework of a racialized social system to PA, allowing for the development of a more nuanced understanding of how racial dynamics help shape the distributional outcomes of public organizations.

I conduct an observational study of client outcomes, focusing on five different racial groups (white, black, Latino, Asian, and Native American). For each racial/ethnic group, I examine how bureaucratic outcomes are associated with the racial composition of personnel in the organization. I use a 13-year panel dataset of California public schools (2000-2012), assembled from publicly available records. Bureaucratic outcomes are measured using standardized exam results, which are reported by racial group for each school. I run panel regression models (specifically, random effects with a lagged dependent variable). I estimate several alternative models as robustness checks, including two-way fixed effects models. I also use various measures of the racial composition of the organization, including measures of passive representation (% same race), diversity, and white dominance (% white). The results indicate different patterns is results for different racial groups. Same-race effects are strongest and most consistent for Asians and Latinos. Managers should take care to distinguish between distinct minority groups. A solution that works for one minority group may not work for others.

Keyphrases: Equity, race, representative bureaucracy

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Nathan Favero},
  title = {Beyond Majority Versus Minority: Bureaucracy, Distributional Outcomes, and a Racialized Multiethnic Society},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1142},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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