Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Does it pay to be a cadre? Estimating the returns to being a local official in rural China

Contents:

Author Info

  • Zhang, Jian
  • Giles, John
  • Rozelle, Scott

Abstract

Recruiting and retaining leaders and public servants at the grass-roots level in developing countries creates a potential tension between providing sufficient returns to attract talent and limiting the scope for excessive rent-seeking behavior. In China, researchers have frequently argued that village cadres, who are the lowest level of administrators in rural areas, exploit personal political status for economic gain. Much existing research, however, compares the earnings of cadre and non-cadre households in rural China without controlling for unobserved dimensions of ability that are also correlated with success as entrepreneurs or in non-agricultural activities. The findings of this paper suggest a measurable return to cadre status, but the magnitudes are not large and provide only a modest incentive to participate in village-level public administration. The paper does not find evidence that households of village cadres earn significant rents from having a family member who is a cadre. Given the increasing return to non-agricultural employment since China’s economic reforms began, it is not surprising that the return to working as a village cadre has also increased over time. Returns to cadre-status (such as they are) are derived both from direct compensation and subsidies for cadres and indirectly through returns earned in off-farm employment from businesses and economic activities managed by villages.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014759671200039X
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 337-356

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:40:y:2012:i:3:p:337-356

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

Related research

Keywords: Village political economy; Public sector labor markets; Returns to political status; Rural China;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Lixin Colin Xu, 2000. "Control, Incentives and Competition: The Impact of Reform on Chinese State-owned Enterprises," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 8(1), pages 151-173, March.
  2. de Brauw, Alan & Giles, John, 2008. "Migrant labor markets and the welfare of rural households in the developing world : evidence from China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4585, The World Bank.
  3. de Brauw, Alan & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Yigang, 2002. "The Evolution Of China'S Rural Labor Markets During The Reforms," Working Papers 11984, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  4. John Giles & Kyeongwon Yoo, 2007. "Precautionary Behavior, Migrant Networks, and Household Consumption Decisions: An Empirical Analysis Using Household Panel Data from Rural China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 534-551, August.
  5. Li, Hongbin & Liu, Pak-Wai & Zhang, Junsen & Ma, Ning, 2006. "Economic Returns to Communist Party Membership: Evidence from Urban Chinese Twins," IZA Discussion Papers 2118, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & John Giles, 2011. "Did Higher Inequality Impede Growth in Rural China?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(557), pages 1281-1309, December.
  7. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Giles, John, 2006. "Is life more risky in the open? Household risk-coping and the opening of China's labor markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 25-60, October.
  9. Joshua D. Angrist, 2000. "Estimation of Limited-Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Morduch, Jonathan & Sicular, Terry, 2000. "Politics, growth, and inequality in rural China: does it pay to join the Party?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 331-356, September.
  11. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt & John Giles, 2003. "The Evolution of Income Inequality in Rural China," Working Papers benjamin-04-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  12. Alan de Brauw & John Giles, 2005. "Migrant Opportunity and the Educational Attainment of Youth in Rural China," Department of Economics Working Papers 2005-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  13. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2008. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 981-1022, December.
  14. Albert Park & Scott Rozelle, 1998. "Reforming state-market relations in rural China," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 6(2), pages 461-480, November.
  15. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 27-28, January.
  16. Hongbin Li & Scott Rozelle, 2003. "Privatizing Rural China: Insider Privatization, Innovative Contracts, and the Performance of Township Enterprises1," Discussion Papers 00001, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  17. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  18. William L. Parish & Xiaoye Zhe & Fang Li, . "Nonfarm Work and Marketization of the Chinese Countryside," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 95-6, Chicago - Population Research Center.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. All Politics Might Be Local, but the Returns to Local Politics Are Frugal
    by Marc F. Bellemare in Marc F. Bellemare on 2012-07-12 09:00:42

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:40:y:2012:i:3:p:337-356. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.