The Individual-Level Effect of Gender Matching in Representative Bureaucracy

Thorbjørn Sejr Guul*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A substantial literature links passive bureaucratic gender representation to better outcomes for represented citizens. However, because existing studies have been carried out primarily at the organizational level, it is not known whether these effects are caused by individual-level interaction or by organizational processes. This article investigates whether gender matching in individual relationships affects citizen outcomes. The context of the study is a program in which young job seekers without vocational training were assigned to a job counselor for one-on-one meetings. The article finds that gender matching has a positive effect on citizen outcomes and that this effect is partly explained by an increased level of effort on the part of the citizen. This implies that citizen outcomes can be improved by matching bureaucrats and citizens of the same gender or by providing training to bureaucrats to enable them to better serve citizens of the opposite gender.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)398-408
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1. May 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by The American Society for Public Administration


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