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Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Villages? Project Design, Village Governance and Infrastructure Quality in Rural China

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  • Liu, Chengfang
  • Zhang, Linxiu
  • Huang, Jikun
  • Luo, Renfu
  • Rozelle, Scott

Abstract

This study seeks to explain the differences in infrastructure quality across China’s villages. Using primary data on three main types of infrastructure projects in rural China, we find that a.) between-project within-village quality differences are small and project design has little explanatory power; b.) between-village variations are larger; and c.) there are strong correlations between the ways villages govern themselves and project quality. We conclude that it is difficult to make good projects work in bad communities and that there is something at the village level that is making some projects succeed in some villages, but not in others.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China with number 49944.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:49944

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Keywords: Infrastructure Quality; Village; Rural China; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Public Economics; H41; H54; H71;

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  1. Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 11753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Francesco Caselli & Massimo Morelli, 2000. "Bad politicians," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 134, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. William Easterly, 2002. "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550423, January.
  4. Asim Ijaz Khwaja, 2004. "Is Increasing Community Participation Always a Good Thing?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 427-436, 04/05.
  5. Isham, Jonathan & Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1994. "Does participation improve project performance : establishing causality with subjective data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1357, The World Bank.
  6. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
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