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.
- discretionary decision-making
- situational visibility
- street-level bureaucrats
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Administration