Civil service organizations in the developing world often lack women and minorities in leadership positions. This has important consequences for the quality of public goods provision and the perceived trustworthiness of bureaucrats. We explore the effect of democratization on the discrimination of women and minorities in the civil service. We argue democratization leads to increased discrimination due to the politicization of identity cleavages. We test our argument using administrative data from Indonesia that cover the career histories of more than four million active civil servants. We exploit the exogenous timing of Indonesia's democratization and the staggered introduction of local direct elections for identification purposes. We find strong evidence that democratization worsened the career prospects of female and some religious minority bureaucrats. Penalties are higher for employees of departments led by conservative Muslim parties, in districts with larger Muslim party vote shares or larger Muslim populations, and in the religiously conservative province of Aceh.
American Journal of Political Science – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2021
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