Measuring Power and Presence: Bureaucratic Representation in the American States

Vernon Greene, Sally Coleman Selden, Gene Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This article introduces a new measure of bureaucratic representation that provides a more complete view of a demographic group's potential to be effectively represented by its members in a bureaucracy. It does so by combining information about a group's overall presence in the bureaucracy (penetration) with information that reflects its distribution over the hierarchy (stratification). Specifically, we focus on how groups are distributed in the regular (i.e., career) bureaucratic hierarchies of American state governments. By comparing our measure to the most frequently used measure of representation (the penetration ratio), we demonstrate that it successfully captures both presence and stratification information, and thereby it offers an improved tool for analyzing representation in bureaucratic hierarchies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-402
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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