Is stress among street level bureaucrats associated with experiences of administrative burden among clients? A multilevel study of the Danish unemployment sector

Kim Sass Mikkelsen, Jonas Krogh Madsen, Martin Bækgaard

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

Research on street-level bureaucracy argues that factors such as stress and burnout affect the behaviors of street-level bureaucrats towards clients. At the same time, the literature on administrative burdens argues that citizens face a series of costs when they experience policy implementation as onerous. We draw on both literatures to theorize ways in which street-level bureaucrats’ behavioral responses to stress states may influence client experiences of administrative burden. Using a multilevel dataset of unemployment counsellors and unemployment benefit recipients from 53 departments of a Danish unemployment insurance fund, we find that stress states among counsellors are positively associated with benefit recipients’ experiences of both learning costs, compliance costs, and experiences of autonomy loss. We conclude by discussing limitations and practical implications. In particular, we call for research into how street-level bureaucrat characteristics influence client experiences of administrative burden.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftPublic Administration Review
Vol/bind84
Nummer2
Sider (fra-til)248-260
Antal sider13
ISSN0033-3352
DOI
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2024

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