This study examines whether minority representation in democratic institutions impacts frontline public service outcomes, investigating specifically the association between the shares of ethnic minorities on California city councils and the measured level of racial disparities practised by the police in the corresponding jurisdictional areas. The findings suggest that an increase in ethnic minority council members is associated with a respective decrease in racial disparities against ethnic minority groups only if ethnic minority groups are well represented in police forces. This study is among the first to empirically examine the link between political representation and bureaucratic behaviours at the street level. The findings have implications for understanding how political representation can contribute to the democratic accountability of street-level bureaucracy and how political and bureaucratic representations can complement each other.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration