The goal of this research was to identify the factors that account for procedural and substantive inequality in the implementation of asylum law. Ninety-eight caseworkers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service were asked to decide on the same asylum application. These decisions were then related to their answers on a questionnaire. Employees differ to the extent that they take the information on an asylum application for granted and to their final decisions on it. These differences result from work pressure, the reputation of the caseworkers, their role definition, political opinions and professional background, and memo’s and policy guidelines. Intensifying feedback and decreasing work pressure can achieve more consistent and careful decisions.

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Department of Sociology

Mascini, P. (2006). De wisselvalligheid van de twijfel: ongelijkheid in de uitvoering van het asielbeleid verklaard. Retrieved from