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

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

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of introducing elections on public goods and redistribution in rural China. We collect a large and unique survey to document the history of political reforms and economic policies and exploit the staggered timing of the introduction of elections for causal identification. We find 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. We also find that elections cause significant income redistribution within villages. The results support the basic assumptions of recent theories of democratization (Acemoglu and Robinson, 2000; Lizzeri and Persico, 2004). In addition, we show that the main mechanism underlying the effect of elections is increased leader incentives.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18101.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18101

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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
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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