Administration of street-level bureaucrats requires prior knowledge of what affects their use of discretion. However, there is a lack of understanding as to what influences their decision-making when choosing between claims made by the state or by its citizens. Without such knowledge, public administration at the street-level can sustain the perception that street-level bureaucrats have a state-preference bias, lowering citizens’ view of public service delivery by those perceived as the face of governance. This study focuses on decisions street-level bureaucrats make when resolving disputes between citizens and other state officials. Using real-world resolutions made over three decades by lower-court judges in Israeli civil tax disputes, the findings reveal a link between factors associated with street-level bureaucrats’ common characteristics and state favoritism in their resolutions. The findings also imply that policymakers who want to mitigate such outcomes can use citizen administrative participation-based influencers to promote street-level bureaucrats’ pro-citizen tendencies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful to the Editor, Stephanie Newbold, and to the anonymous reviewers of this manuscript for their insightful comments. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Research Fund of the Open University of Israel.
© The Author(s) 2023.
- citizen administrative participation
- procedural fairness
- street-level bureaucrats
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration