Honored and humbled to receive the 2019 Beryl Radin Award for Best Article in JPART, together with my co-author Sebastian Jilke from Rutgers University-Newark.

The article “Which Clients are Deserving of Help? A Theoretical Model and Experimental Test?” is available on the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory website and on open repositories.

Evaluation report: “The committee concluded that this is an important article that advances our understanding of how street level bureaucrats make decisions. Specifically, this examines how street level bureaucrats make assessments about which clients are most “deserving” of help. The authors develop a theoretical model of client deservingness and test that model using a rigorous experimental design, set in the context of US public education. They test three types of client deservingness cues to determine which type elicits the greatest helping response from teachers: the “needy” client, the “hardworking” client” and the “successful” client. They find that teachers tend to prioritize needy clients the most, including those with low academic performance and those from minority groups, although earned deservingness (the “hardworking” client) was also an effective cue in eliciting helping responses, but to a lesser extent. The findings of this study have important implications for advancing theory and research related to the role of discretionary bias among street level bureaucrats and is sure to be cited well into the future by scholars studying policy implementation, behavioral public administration, and street level bureaucracy.”

Committee members: Kelly LeRoux (University of Illinois-Chicago), Brint Milward (University of Arizona), Sean Nicholson-Crotty (Indiana University) Janine O’Flynn (ANZSOG) and Sounman Hong (Yonsei University).

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