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Do Local Elections in Non-Democracies Increase Accountability? Evidence from Rural China

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  • Martinez-Bravo, Monica
  • Padró i Miquel, Gerard
  • Qian, Nancy
  • Yao, Yang

Abstract

We use unique survey data to study whether the introduction of local elections in China made local leaders more accountable towards local constituents. We develop a simple model to predict the effects on different policies of increasing local leader accountability, taking into account that there is an autocratic upper government. We exploit variation in the timing of the top-down introduction of elections across villages to estimate the causal effects of elections and find that elections affected policy outcomes in a way that is consistent with the predicted effects of increased local leader accountability.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8368.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8368

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Keywords: Accountability; Democracy; Institutions; Public Goods;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gustavo J Bobonis & Luis R Cámara Fuertes & Rainer Schwabe, 2011. "The Dynamic Effects of Information on Political Corruption: Theory and Evidence from Puerto Rico," Working Papers tecipa-428, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. Li, Yuan, 2013. "Downward Accountability in Response to Collective Actions: The Political Economy of Public Goods Provision in China," Working Paper Series 2013-26, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics.
  3. W. Bentley MacLeod, 2013. "On Economics: A Review of Why Nations Fail by D. Acemoglu and J. Robinson and Pillars of Prosperity by T. Besley and T. Persson," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 116-43, March.
  4. Monica Martinez-Bravo, 2014. "The Role of Local Officials in New Democracies: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1244-87, April.
  5. Monica Martinez-Bravo & Gerard Padró i Miquel & Nancy Qian & Yang Yao, 2012. "The Effects of Democratization on Public Goods and Redistribution: Evidence from China," NBER Working Papers 18101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Narayan, Ambar & Dasgupta, Basab & Kaiser, Kai, 2014. "Electoral accountability and local government spending in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6782, The World Bank.
  7. Davide Cantoni & Yuyu Chen & David Y. Yang & Noam Yuchtman & Y. Jane Zhang, 2014. "Curriculum and Ideology," NBER Working Papers 20112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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