Faces in the Office: Racial Employment Segregation among Congressional Staff

34 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2009  

Curtis E. Ziniel

University of California, Riverside (UCR)

Date Written: July 15, 2009

Abstract

Does racial employment segregation exist among staff in the U.S. House of Representatives? To investigate, I use a Dirichlet-multinomial likelihood analysis on a novel dataset that includes data on every staff member employed in the offices of over 200 U.S. representatives during the 108th Congress. I find that members of Congress disproportionately employ black and Hispanic staffers in district offices and constituent service positions rather than in the Washington D.C. office and policy advisory positions. Minority staffers also hold fewer high level office positions which suggests that they have less influence with their members of Congress. These disparities in staff responsibility raise questions about the extent to which minorities can impact the legislative decision making process of members of Congress.

Keywords: race, representation, Congress, staff

Suggested Citation

Ziniel, Curtis E., Faces in the Office: Racial Employment Segregation among Congressional Staff (July 15, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1434290 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1434290

Curtis E. Ziniel (Contact Author)

University of California, Riverside (UCR) ( email )

900 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92521
United States

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