Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs


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La Follette Seminar Series: Putting Representative Bureaucracy to Test: A Meta-Analysis of Individual-Level Data of the Outcomes of Police Vehicle Stops

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Location:  La Follette School Conference Room

Sharon Gilad, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Representative bureaucracy (RB) theory suggests that the ethnic identity of public sector employees matters for their implementation of bureaucracies’ legal mandates vis-à-vis ethnic minorities. RB theory seems particularly pertinent to the relations between the police and minorities in the United States. Gilad's project puts RB theory to test by aggregating data from existing research, as well as original datasets, to gauge differences between Caucasian and minority police officers’ inclination to use their formal powers to ticket, search, and arrest when stopping Caucasian and minority drivers. Tentative findings suggest that minority police officers are less inclined to make use of their powers to search and arrest drivers, regardless of their ethnicity. These findings provide partial support for RB theory.

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