Representative bureaucracy and distributional equity: Addressing the hard question Academic Article uri icon


  • Research on representative bureaucracy has failed to deal with whether or not representative bureaucracies produce minority gains at the expense of nonminorities. Using a pooled time-series analysis of 350 school districts over six years, this study examines the relationship between representative bureaucracy and organizational outputs for minorities and nonminorities. Far from finding that representative bureaucracy produces minority gains at the expense of nonminorities, this study finds both minority and nonminority students perform better in the presence of a representative bureaucracy. This finding suggests an alternative hypothesis to guide research: that representative bureaucracies are more effective than their nonrepresentative counterparts.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Meier, K. J., Wrinkle, R. D., & Polinard, J. L.

citation count

  • 219

complete list of authors

  • Meier, KJ||Wrinkle, RD||Polinard, JL

publication date

  • November 1999