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A Model of Chinese Central Government: the Role of Reciprocal Accountability

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  • Mario Gilli

    ()

  • Yuan Li

Abstract

Why was the same state in China able to promote economic growth in the reform era but not in the previous thirty years? In this paper we focus on a speci c aspect that might help the search for a comprehensive explanation: the speci c institutional arrangement that induced autocratic government to adopt growth-enhancing policies. To this aim, we consider a standard political agency model (Besley, 2006) where the incumbent leader may be either congruent or not, and where both types need the support of the ‘selectorate’ to hold on to power. Our main result is that in autocracies without electoral discipline, to restrain the opportunistic behavior of a leader, the size of the ‘selectorate’should be intermediate: if too small, the ‘selectorate’is captured by the leader and has no disciplinary role; if too big, the leader’s incentives are diluted.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper230.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 230.

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Length: 35
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision: Feb 2013
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:230

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Keywords: Accountability; Selectorate; Political agency; Chinese economic reform.;

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References

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  1. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2004. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
  2. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "Federalism as a Commitment to Reserving Market Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 83-92, Fall.
  3. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1996. "China's transition to markets: market-preserving federalism, chinese style," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 149-185.
  4. Timothy Besley & Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2007. "Making autocracy work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1992. "The Transition to a Market Economy: Pitfalls of Partial Reform," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 889-906, August.
  7. Yingyi Qian & Gerard Roland, . "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," Working Papers 97045, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Li, Yuan & Gilli, Mario, 2014. "Accountability in Autocracies: The Role of Revolution Threat," Working Paper Series 2014-30, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 06 Mar 2014.
  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. Gilli, Mario & Li, Yuan, 2012. "Citizenry Accountability in Autocracies. The Political Economy of Good Governance in China," NEPS Working Papers 3/2012, Network of European Peace Scientists.

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