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Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory Advance Access

Published: Fri, 03 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 03 Nov 2017 10:54:48 GMT


More Than Public Service: A Field Experiment on Job Advertisements and Diversity in the Police


There is a human capital crisis looming in the public sector as fewer and fewer people show interest in government jobs. At the same time, many public sector organizations struggle with increasing the diversity of their workforce. Although many institutional forces contribute to the challenge, part of the solution is in how government recruits. This study presents the results of a field experiment aimed at attracting more and different people to apply to a police force by varying job advertisements in a postcard. The results suggest that focusing on public service motivation (PSM) messages is ineffective at attracting candidates that would not have applied anyway. Rather, messages that focus on the personal benefits of applying to the job—either emphasizing the challenge of the job or the career benefits—are three times as effective at getting individuals to apply as the control, without an observable loss in applicant quality. These messages are particularly effective for people of color and women, thereby supporting a key policy goal of the police to increase diversity of applicants.

Understanding Individual and Organizational Level Representation: The Case of Parental Involvement in Schools


With the substantive effects of racial and ethnic representation well-documented in the representative bureaucracy literature, scholars have increasingly turned their attention to better understanding the causal mechanisms underlying these effects. One explored but yet unresolved issue is whether the benefits of representation stem from individual (direct)- versus organizational (indirect)-level pathways, or both. The current study advances this conversation by testing the effect of both levels of representation on parental involvement in schools using a current, nationally-representative dataset: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011 (ECLS-K: 2011). In doing so, this study also contributes to research on parental involvement, and how it may relate to racial and ethnic achievement gaps. Results indicate that both direct and indirect representation matter, though perhaps not equally. Direct representation has a larger association with parental involvement outcomes, especially for nonwhite students. After controlling for this direct representation, indirect representation shows statistically significant but smaller increases in parent-reported conference attendance.