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The Effects of Democratization on Public Goods and Redistribution: Evidence from China

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  • Yang Yao
  • Monica Martinez Bravo

    ()

  • Gerard Padro i Miquel

    ()

  • Nancy Qia

    ()

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of introducing elections on public goods and redistribution in rural China. A large and unique survey was collected to document the history of political reforms and economic policies and exploit the staggered timing of the introduction of elections for causal identification. It was found that elections significantly increase public goods expenditure. The increase corresponds to demand and is paralleled by an increase in public goods provision and local taxes. IT that elections cause significant income redistribution within villages. The results support the basic assumptions of recent theories of democratization. In addition, we show that the main mechanism underlying the effect of elections is increased leader incentives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:5011.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:5011

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Keywords: Elections; Institutions; Democracy; China; Rural; Political; Economic; Reforms; Taxes; Public Goods;

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References

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  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. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian & Pierre Yared, 2010. "The Institutional Causes of China's Great Famine, 1959-61," NBER Working Papers 16361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rozelle Scott & Boisvert Richard N., 1994. "Quantifying Chinese Village Leaders' Multiple Objectives," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 25-45, February.
  4. Loren Brandt & Matthew A. Turner, 2007. "The Usefulness Of Imperfect Elections: The Case Of Village Elections In Rural China," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 453-480, November.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-93, March.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
  7. Brandt, Loren & Rozelle, Scott & Turner, Matthew A., 2002. "Local Government Behavior And Property Rights Formation In Rural China," Working Papers, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics 11988, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  8. Monica Martinez-Bravo, 2014. "The Role of Local Officials in New Democracies: Evidence from Indonesia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1244-87, April.
  9. Zhang, Xiaobo & Fan, Shenggen & Zhang, Linxiu & Huang, Jikun, 2004. "Local governance and public goods provision in rural China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2857-2871, December.
  10. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
  11. Ernesto Dal Bó & Martín Rossi, 2008. "Term Length and Political Performance," NBER Working Papers 14511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2002. "Special Interest Politics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262571676, December.
  13. Benjamin A. Olken, 2007. "Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 200-249.
  14. Dani Rodrik & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Do Democratic Transitions Produce Bad Economic Outcomes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 50-55, May.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. A Natural Experiment in Chinese Villages
    by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-07-03 13:30:04
  2. Human Resources in Great Britain in the Long Run, 1871-2011
    by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-08-24 12:34:36
  3. Human Resources in Great Britain in the Long Run, 1871-2011
    by missiaia in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-09-13 10:16:17
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Moricz, Sara & Sjöholm, Fredrik, 2014. "The Effect of Elections on Economic Growth: Results from a Natural Experiment in Indonesia," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 1023, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2014. "Do elected leaders in a limited democracy have real power? Evidence from rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 17-27.
  3. Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Understanding China's Urban Pollution Dynamics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 731-72, September.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & Suresh Naidu & Pascual Restrepo & James A. Robinson, 2014. "Democracy Does Cause Growth," NBER Working Papers 20004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Daron Acemoglu & Suresh Naidu & Pascual Restrepo & James A. Robinson, 2013. "Democracy, Redistribution and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 19746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gani Aldashev & Giorgio Zanarone, 2014. "Endogenous Enforcement Institutions," Working Papers 1403, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
  7. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2013. "Do elected councils improve governance ? experimental evidence on local institutions in Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6510, The World Bank.

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