Tygstrup, Tea Hansen, & Olsen, Asmus Leth (2019). Citizens’ Discrimination against Street-level Bureaucrats. https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/WTN3S
Extensive experimental work documents discrimination against minorities in their interaction with the state. The increased reliance on citizen choice of service provider increasing allow discrimination to run the other way: Do citizens discriminate against street-level bureaucrats? Using two discrete choice designs in a single survey (N=1,027) we study ethnic discrimination in citizens’ choice of general practioner (GP) in a Nordic welfare state. We find strong evidence of discrimination as GPs with Muslim names are chosen 14 percentage point less than Danish named GPs with similar characteristics. Choice models are often accompanied with quality performance indicators but additional analysis show that discrimination is not reduced if a performance measure for the GP is provided to citizens. The results question the effectiveness of traditional policy tools to combat discrimination in increasingly more diverse public sector with more emphasis on citizens choice.