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Dr. Capers will present "New(er) Challenges of Equity and Representation in Bureaucratic Agencies."

As the nation becomes more diverse, bureaucratic agencies must contend with how to best serve a shifting population that has a range of distinct needs, while simultaneously upholding the nation’s commitment to equality and equity. Having a racially diverse bureaucracy is thought to be one way to ensure equity in service delivery, but this approach is likely to become less useful due to the diverse influx of new immigrants. Using New York City public school data from the 2005-2006 to 2015-2016 school term, this work examines the role of intra-racial group differences in bureaucratic decision making. The research contends that differences in socio-political experiences and interests may limit a bureaucrat’s willingness and ability to ensure equitable service delivery for newcomers that share a bureaucrat’s racial identity, but not his ethnic identity.  Empirical tests assess the extent to which native-born Black bureaucrats serve foreign-born Black clients—does representation cross ethnic lines?  The findings hold implications for understanding the role that bureaucrats play in meeting the interests and will of diverse communities as well as the potential limitations of representative bureaucracy.

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