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A supervisor like me: Race, representation, and the satisfaction and turnover decisions of public sector employees

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  • Jason A. Grissom
  • Lael R. Keiser

Abstract

Studies of race representation in public organizations illustrate the importance of bureaucrat race in determining client‐level outcomes. Building “upward” from this research, this study examines how supervisor race impacts outcomes for street‐level bureaucrats using data from a nationally representative sample of public schools. Employing multiple estimation methods, we find that, consistent with the predictions of representation theory, teachers report higher job satisfaction and turn over less often when supervised by an own‐race principal. We also find that race congruence impacts the tangible and intangible organizational benefits teachers receive, and, moreover, that race congruence impacts white and African American employees differently. Most troubling, we find evidence that black teachers earn substantially less in supplemental pay when they work for a white principal, even when compared to white teachers in the same school. © 2011 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason A. Grissom & Lael R. Keiser, 2011. "A supervisor like me: Race, representation, and the satisfaction and turnover decisions of public sector employees," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 557-580, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:30:y:2011:i:3:p:557-580
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    Cited by:

    1. Cory Koedel & Teerachat Techapaisarnjaroenkit, 2011. "Systematic Differences in How Mothers Assess Their Children and Implications for Developmental Research," Working Papers 1124, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 29 Oct 2012.
    2. Cory Koedel & Jiaxi Li, 2016. "The Efficiency Implications Of Using Proportional Evaluations To Shape The Teaching Workforce," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 47-62, January.
    3. Jason A. Grissom & Susanna Loeb & Nathaniel Nakashima, 2013. "Strategic Involuntary Teacher Transfers and Teacher Performance: Examining Equity and Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 19108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:tpr:edfpol:v:12:y:2017:i:3:p:369-395 is not listed on IDEAS

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