Does It Pay to Be a Cadre? Estimating the Returns to Being a Local Official in Rural China
AbstractRecruiting 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 government. 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 returns to non-agricultural employment since China‘s economic reforms began, it is not surprising that the returns to working as a village cadre have also increased over time. Returns to cadre-status 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.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6653.
Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Zhang, Jian & Giles, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2012. "Does it pay to be a cadre? Estimating the returns to being a local official in rural China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 337-356.
- Zhang, Jian & Giles, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2012. "Does it pay to be a Cadre ? estimating the returns to being a local official in rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6082, The World Bank.
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
- P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
- P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2012-07-01 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2012-07-01 (Development)
- NEP-LAB-2012-07-01 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2012-07-01 (Public Economics)
- NEP-TRA-2012-07-01 (Transition Economics)
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.:
- 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.
- Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2005. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Working Papers 929, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- 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
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