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The Usefulness Of Imperfect Elections: The Case Of Village Elections In Rural China

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  • LOREN BRANDT
  • MATTHEW A. TURNER

Abstract

Using a sample of rural Chinese villages, which have recently been the subject of democratic reforms, we look for relationships between marginal changes in the democratic process and marginal changes in economic outcomes. We find that even very poorly conducted elections can have large incentive effects. That is, even corruptible elections provide leaders with strong incentives to act in the interests of their constituents. Our findings also allow us to rank the importance of four possible election reforms, which have attracted the attention of international observers and academic researchers. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 453-480

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:19:y:2007:i:3:p:453-480

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0954-1985

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Cited by:
  1. Monica Martinez-Bravo & Gerard Padró i Miquel & Nancy Qian & Yang Yao, 2011. "Do Local Elections in Non-Democracies Increase Accountability? Evidence from Rural China," NBER Working Papers 16948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2011. "The role of elected and appointed village leaders in the allocation of public resources: Evidence from a low-income region in China," IFPRI discussion papers 1061, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Yang Yao & Monica Martinez Bravo & Gerard Padro i Miquel & Nancy Qia, 2012. "The Effects of Democratization on Public Goods and Redistribution: Evidence from China," Working Papers id:5011, eSocialSciences.
  4. Li Han, 2014. "Are elections in autocracies a curse for incumbents? Evidence from Chinese villages," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 221-242, January.

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