CEPDISC Seminar with Thorbjørn Sejr Guul

"Bureaucratic Discretion and Discrimination at the Front Line"

Oplysninger om arrangementet


Mandag 20. marts 2023,  kl. 13:00 - 14:30

Speaker: Thorbjørn Sejr Guul, Associate Professor, University of Southern Denmark

Title: Bureaucratic Discretion and Discrimination at the Front Line


Even though discrimination is outlawed, numerous studies show that minorities receive discriminatory treatment by front line workers. However, knowledge concerning how to combat discrimination is still scarce. In this article, we argue that bureaucratic discretion is a prominent source to discriminatory behavior, because it allows front line workers to weigh equivalent information for minority and majority citizens differently. Therefore, limiting frontline workers discretion may be one way to reduce discriminatory treatment. Using rich administrative data (n=195,156), we examine whether teachers are less likely to assess minority students eligible for further education due to a differentiated weighting of objective measures of student academic abilities. By utilizing a reform that formalized the needed academic requirements for high school eligibility, we also examine whether limiting teacher discretion can diminish discriminatory treatment of minorities at the front line. We conclude by discussing possible benefits and costs of reducing frontline workers’ discretion.


If you are interested in joining contact Maj Carlsen by email on: Maj.carlsen@ps.au.dk with info on which seminar you are interested in