Representative Bureaucracy, Organizational Integrity, and Citizen Coproduction: Does an Increase in Police Ethnic Representativeness Reduce Crime?

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In 1999, the U.K. government set force-specific 10-year targets for recruiting new police officers from ethnic minorities. Using these targets as instrumental variables, this study finds that this policy mandating an increase in the share of ethnic minority officers in a given force is associated with a decrease in the number of crimes in the area under the force's jurisdiction during the 10-year period. It is argued that greater representativeness and diversity within a public organization improves organizational integrity, which influences bureaucrats’ attitudes and behaviors toward minority citizens. In the context of policing, diversity can mitigate the institutionalized practice of officers acting on implicit assumptions about minorities being inherently more unlawful than whites: Police representativeness is associated with a decrease in the overrepresentation of black individuals among those subject to “stop and search.” Such a change may make minority citizens more willing to cooperate in the coproduction of public values, facilitating the attainment of organizational goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-33
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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