The Impact of Ethnic Diversity in Bureaucracies: Evidence from the Nigerian Civil Service
AbstractWe document the correlation between the workplace diversity in bureaucratic organizations and public service delivery. We do so in the context of Nigeria, where ethnicity is a salient form of self-identity. We thus expand the empirical management literature highlighting beneficial effects of workplace diversity, that has focused on private sector firms operating in high-income settings. Our analysis combines two data sources: (i) a survey to over 4,000 bureaucrats eliciting their ethnic identities; (ii) independent engineering assessments of completion rates for 4,700 public sector projects. The ethnic diversity of bureaucracies matters positively: a one standard deviation increase in the ethnic diversity of bureaucrats corresponds to 9 percent higher completion rates. In line with the management literature from private sector firms in high-income countries, this evidence highlights a potentially positive side of ethnic diversity in public sector organizations, in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa.
CitationRasul, Imran, and Daniel Rogger. 2015. "The Impact of Ethnic Diversity in Bureaucracies: Evidence from the Nigerian Civil Service." American Economic Review, 105 (5): 457-61. DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151003
- D73 Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
- H83 Public Administration; Public Sector Accounting and Audits
- J15 Economics of Minorities, Races, Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- O15 Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- O17 Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements