Gender, situational visibility, and discretionary decision-making of regulatory street-level bureaucrats under pandemic emergency: an experimental study in China

Fan Yang, Xiaoxia Huang, Zhichao Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

How is the discretion of police officers influenced by clients’ gender and situational visibility under emergency regulations? To answer this question, this study uses the scenario-based-experimental-survey data collected from 878 police officers from three cities in China under the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that the effect of gender congruence on the leniency of officers is only significantly positive when police and clients are both female. However, situational visibility will weaken the gender effect, reducing the officers’ leniency towards females. Moreover, visibility makes police even harsher towards male violators. The findings provide some practical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1312-1329
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Management Review
Volume24
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • discretionary decision-making
  • Gender
  • situational visibility
  • street-level bureaucrats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration

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